Skin nonmelanocytic tumor
Lymphoma and related disorders - T cell / NK cell neoplasms
Peripheral T cell lymphoma

Topic Completed: 1 July 2012

Revised: 12 April 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed search: Peripheral T cell lymphoma [title] skin

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 533
Page views in 2019 to date: 359
Cite this page: Hale CS. Peripheral T cell lymphoma. website. Accessed July 22nd, 2019.
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

Images hosted on other servers:

Recurrent eyelid lesion

Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.

Breast skin

Images hosted on other servers:

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
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