T-cell receptor gene rearrangement analysis is a useful technique to detect clonality and determine lineage of lymphoid neoplasms. We examined 103 patients with mycosis fungoides, Sézary syndrome, peripheral T cell lymphoma, potentially malignant lymphoproliferative disorders including pre-Sézary syndrome, large plaque parapsoriasis, lymphomatoid papulosis and follicular mucinosis, and various benign inflammatory infiltrates. A clonal rearrangement was detected in skin samples in 20 of 24 patients with mycosis fungoides and in peripheral blood samples in 19 of 21 patients with Sézary syndrome. A clonal population was also detected in seven of eight cases classified as peripheral T cell lymphoma. The potentially malignant dermatoses tended to have clonal rearrangement, with the exception of large plaque parapsoriasis, and further follow-up is needed to correlate clonality with the disease course. These studies demonstrate the value of molecular genetics as an adjunct to morphology in the examination of patients with cutaneous lymphoproliferative disease.
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