CD56-positive (nasal-type T/NK cell) lymphoma arising on the skin. Report of two cases and review of the literature

Shin Ichi Ansai, Kunihiko Maeda, Mitsunori Yamakawa, Mikio Matsuda, Souichi Saitoh, Shinobu Suwa, Hiroki Saitoh, Mikio Ohtsuka, Keiji Iwatsuki

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Several authors have reported cases of patients with malignant lymphoma with unique characteristics, designated nasal-type T/NK cell lymphoma, which expresses the natural killer (NK) cell marker and shows frequent extra-nodal involvement and poor prognosis. We report 2 cases of this type of lymphoma which were CD56-positive and showed a histopathologically angiocentric pattern with cutaneous and subcutaneous tumorous lesions. Patient 1 had extensive invasion of skin, underlying skeletal muscle, spleen and bone marrow and died of sepsis 34 months after onset. Patient 2 had multiple subcutaneous nodules and invasion to mammary gland, lung, lymph node and spleen at the time of her first visit. She died of a rapid invasion of lymphoma cells to the liver 5 months after onset. Both patients showed similar immunophenotypes of tumor cells (CD2+, CD3-, CD4-, CD8-, CD20-, CD56+) and germ line configuration of the heavy chain of immunoglobulin (JH), T-cell receptor C beta-1 subunit DNA and T-cell receptor J gamma subunit DNA. Epstein-Barr virus early regions RNA was demonstrated in the nuclei of tumor cells of both patients with in situ hybridization. The histopathological examination of the skin lesions of both patients revealed the features of angiocentric lymphoma. The detection of CD56 in the tumor cells of cutaneous lymphomas should be routinely performed for the early diagnosis of this type of lymphoma with extremely poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Dermatology


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