Sézary cell counts in erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: Implications for prognosis and staging

Eric C. Vonderheid, Jane Pena, Peter Nowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


In this retrospective study, quantitative Sézary cell counts were performed at presentation on 192 patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (E-CTCL). Per recommendation of the International Society of Cutaneous Lymphomas (ISCL), the impact on staging of using an absolute Sézary cell count of 1.0 K μL-1 or more as equivalent to lymph node involvement was investigated. Of 132 patients with disease initially classified at stage III using the current TNM staging system, 25% were up staged to IVa, resulting in a clearer separation of associated survival curves between the stages. Furthermore, the current ISCL definition of B0, B1 and B2 ratings were improved using Sézary cell count levels of <1.0 K μL-1, ≥ 1.0-4.99 K μL-1 and ≥ 5.0 K mu;L-1, respectively. These modified B ratings potentially could be used in an alternative staging system for E-CTCL without N rating. Advanced age, prior exposure to multiple systemic drugs, enlargement of peripheral lymph nodes (> 3 cm), other measures of blood tumor burden (CD4/CD8 ratio ≥ 10, chromosomally-abnormal clone) and 2-fold increase in serum LDH level were other factors of prognostic significance. The clinical importance of these variables vis-à-vis the modified TNBM staging system will need to be clarified in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1856
Number of pages16
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Erythroderma
  • Prognosis
  • Sézary syndrome
  • Staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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