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Journal Articles BMC Veterinary Research Year : 2022

Cutaneous epitheliotropic T-cell lymphoma in a donkey – a case report

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Background Cutaneous epitheliotropic T-cell lymphoma is a malignant tumour of the skin already reported in humans, dogs, cats, horses, and other species, but not previously in donkeys. The standard diagnosis is based on clinical, morphological and immunophenotypic data. Differentiation of malignant versus benign proliferation of lymphocytes is crucial; in ambiguous cases T-cell receptor gamma (TRG) molecular clonality should be tested. In the present paper, we report a case of mycosis fungoides diagnosed in a donkey whose diagnosis was based on clinical, histological and immunohistochemical aspects and a positive TRG clonality test. Case presentation A twenty-five-year-old donkey gelding was referred with a mildly pruritic, generalised and severe exfoliative dermatosis. Otherwise, the animal was clinically healthy, though mildly underweight. Dermatological examination revealed severe generalised alopecic and exfoliative dermatitis, occasionally eroded, with high number of large, thin, greyish scales. All mucocutaneous junctions except the hoofs were affected. Ectoparasites and dermatophytes were ruled out. The complete blood count and blood smear evaluation revealed mild normocytic normochromic anemia. The biochemistry panel showed mild hyperproteinemia with albumin within the normal range. Protein electrophoresis showed moderate polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia. Histological findings were characterised by interface dermatitis with massive exocytosis in the epidermis of a homogenous population of lymphoid cells showing atypia. Clusters of neoplastic cells were present within the epidermis forming Pautrier "microabscesses". These findings are consistent with cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma. Immunohistochemical staining revealed uniform labelling of the neoplastic cells for CD3, and lack of expression of CD20 (a B cell lineage associated marker). Molecular clonality PCR (PARR) was performed using equine TRG primers; this revealed a clonal rearrangement in a heavy polyclonal background. Transmission electronic microscopy showed multiple lymphocytes with convoluted or cerebriform nuclei. Conclusions This case report provides the first evidence of clinical, histopathological, immunophenotypic features, electron microscopy findings and molecular analysis of a cutaneous epitheliotropic T-cell lymphoma (mycosis fungoides) in a donkey. Our observations suggest that cutaneous T-cell lymphoma should be included in the differential diagnoses of exfoliative dermatitis, even those progressing in a chronic pattern and/or with few or no pruritus.
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hal-03752722 , version 1 (17-08-2022)


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Jevgenija Kondratjeva, Florie Julien, Céline Coutelier, Louis Humeau, Fabien Moog, et al.. Cutaneous epitheliotropic T-cell lymphoma in a donkey – a case report. BMC Veterinary Research, 2022, 18 (1), pp.267. ⟨10.1186/s12917-022-03365-7⟩. ⟨hal-03752722⟩
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