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Cytophagic histiocytic panniculitis with fatal haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a paediatric patient with perforin gene mutation
  1. Rong-Long Chen1,
  2. Yung-Hsiang Hsu2,
  3. Ikuyo Ueda3,
  4. Shinsaku Imashuku4,
  5. Kengo Takeuchi5,
  6. Benjamin Pang-hsien Tu6,
  7. Shih-Sung Chuang7
  1. 1Division of Paediatric Hematology/Oncology, Cancer Centre, Chi-Mei Medical Centre, Liou Ying Campus, Tainan, Taiwan
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Centre and University, Hualien, Taiwan
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
  4. 4Department of Paediatrics, Takasago-Seibu Hospital, Takasago, Japan
  5. 5Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan
  6. 6Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
  7. 7Department of Pathology, Chi-Mei Medical Centre, Tainan, and Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Dr Shih-Sung Chuang, Department of Pathology, Chi-Mei Medical Centre, 901 Chung-Hwa Road, Yung-Kang City, Tainan County 710, Taiwan; cmh5301{at}

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Cytophagic histiocytic panniculitis (CHP), or histiocytic cytophagic panniculitis, is a rare form of panniculitis associated with haemorrhagic diathesis and histiocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), initially described in 1980 as a benign lymphoproliferative disease.1 In 1991 Gonzalez et al reported a unique entity of subcutaneous T-cell lymphoma with haemophagocytosis, later designated as subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma (SPTL).2 Marzano et al suggested that CHP and SPTL might span a clinicopathological spectrum in which there is a natural progression from CHP to SPTL.3 HLH is a clinical syndrome of immune deregulation with hypercytokinaemia causing dysfunctions of various organs and a high mortality. Familial HLH (FHL) is associated with several hereditary defects. Stepp et al first showed that the mutation in perforin gene (PRF1) at chromosome 10q21 was responsible for 20–40% of FHL patients.4

Case report

An 11-year-old girl with CHP and HLH presented with spiking fever and indurated skin nodules over the left thigh (fig 1A). She had psychomotor retardation and spastic type cerebral palsy at 2 years of age and epilepsy at age 7. Physical examination revealed indurated skin nodules and hepatosplenomegaly without lymphadenopathy. Laboratory tests showed anaemia, thrombocytopenia, impaired liver function, and raised triglyceride level, without coagulopathy. Blood and urine cultures were negative. Her fever and skin lesions responded dramatically to prednisolone and intravenous immunoglobulins. She became prednisolone-dependent despite attempts at tapering off by adding methotrexate and cyclosporine A. Several episodes of HLH and infections led to three additional admissions in three years. Six months later, she developed prominent facial bruising and swelling. Virological surveys revealed prior/remote Epstein-Barr virus …

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  • Parental/guardian informed consent was obtained for publication of fig 1.

  • Funding: This work was supported in part by research grants NSC 90-2314-B-320 and 95-2320-B-384.003 from the National Science Council, Taiwan and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (No. 18790727).

  • Competing interests: None declared.