Cutaneous B-cell lymphomas are rare neoplasms that can present as lesions involving solely the skin or develop in association with a systemic lymphoma. Histologically they are often difficult to differentiate from pseudolymphomas, and the use of immunohistochemistry may be necessary to correctly classify them. We report a study of multiple skin lesions in a patient who initially presented with multiple pseudolymphomas, apparently associated with an immune response to the dye of his tattoos. Over a period of 4 years his skin lesions evolved from histologically benign and immunologically polyclonal pseudolymphomas to a histologically malignant and immunologically monoclonal B-cell large cell lymphoma. Genotypic analysis with a probe for the heavy-chain immunoglobulin gene demonstrated the presence of clonal B-cell populations in all of the pseudolymphoma biopsy samples as well as in the subsequent lymphoma tissue samples, with a pattern of clonal bands suggestive of evolution of the B-cell clones. These findings suggest that the development of B-cell lymphoma in this patient was related to a persistent abnormal immune response to the chronic antigenic stimulus of the dye of the tattoo. The presence of clonal B-cell populations in pseudolymphoma by Southern blot analysis may be useful in predicting those patients who will subsequently develop overt lymphoma.
- Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma
- Immunoglobulin gene rearrangement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine