We report 2 cases of agranular CD2- CD4+ CD56+ non-Hodgkin lymphoma in which skin seemed to be the primary site. A 21-year-old woman's initial symptom was a skin nodule on the right cheek. She also had tumors in the nasopharynx, and the bone marrow subsequently became involved. No lymphadenopathy was present. She experienced complete remission after dose- intensified therapy with cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunomycin, vincristine [Oncovin], and prednisone (CHOP), but the disease relapsed in the central nervous system 6 months later. An 81-year-old man experienced an 11-month history of skin nodules in the left forearm. On admission, he had a bone marrow infiltration of lymphoma cells. He died of pneumonia during chemotherapy. The malignant cells of the 2 patients had similar morphologic features, with a monocytoid nucleus and no cytoplasmic granules. The cells in both cases showed a unique phenotype: CD2-, CD3-, CD4+, CD8-, CD13-, CD14-, CD34-, CD16-, CD56+, CD57-, HLA-DR-positive. Staining for peroxidase and α-naphthyl butyrate esterase was negative. The T-cell receptor β, γ, δ, IgH, κ, λ genes were of germ line configurations. The DNA of Epstein-Barr virus was not detected from the bone marrow cells by polymerase chain reaction. Only 3 other cases with similar phenotypes have been reported; all had skin lesions. Although the origin of these cells remains unknown, we propose that this is a distinct clinicopathologic entity.
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