Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors
Lymphoma and related disorders
Peripheral T cell lymphoma

Author: Christopher Hale, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 10 October 2016, last major update July 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed search: Peripheral T cell lymphoma [title] skin

Cite this page: Peripheral T cell lymphoma. website. Accessed October 27th, 2016.
Definition / General
  • 50% of T cell lymphomas in Western countries
  • A large and heterogenous group of lymphomas
  • Median age 62 years
  • Usually present with advanced stage disease with nodal involvement and variable marrow or extranodal involvement
  • May have primarily skin involvement
  • Aggressive - recurrences, progressive disease and death due to disease are common
  • May resemble classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to Reed-Sternberg like cells, and occasional cases are CD15+ and CD30+ (Am J Surg Pathol 2003;27:1513)
Case Reports
Clinical Images
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Recurrent eyelid lesion

Micro Images
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Breast skin, courtesy of Dr. Mark R. Wick

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Recurrent eyelid lesion

Positive Stains
  • CD45 (usually), T cell markers on all cells
  • Occasionally CD15+ and CD30+ in both Reed-Sternberg like cells and background cells
Negative Stains
  • Aberrant T cell expression (i.e. loss of some T cell markers)
Molecular / Cytogenetics Description
  • Clonal rearrangement
  • Molecular signals help classify, including PTCL unclassifiable and adult T cell leukemia / lymphoma (Blood 2010;115:1026)
Differential Diagnosis
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma: background cells have normal morphology and normal T cell antigen expression; Reed-Sternberg like cells are negative for T cell antigens