Blastic natural killer (NK) cell lymphoma is a rare neoplasm characterized by blastoid tumor cells expressing CD4 and CD56, with predominant skin involvement. Although this tumor has been regarded as a neoplasm related to NK cell, recent studies suggested that it is derived from plasmacytoid dendritic cells, but not from NK cell. Herein we report 4 cases of CD4+CD56+ lineage marker- blastic NK cell lymphomas with a review of literatures. The patients were 3 men and one woman. Three of them were young (17, 18, and 22 yr old). Three patients had skin lesions, at initial presentation in two patients and during the course of disease in other patient. Histologically, tumors consisted of monotonous medium to large blastoid cells showing no necrosis, angiocentric growth or epidermotrophism. All four tumors were CD4+ and CD56+. Three expressed CD68 antigen. Lineage specific markers for B- and T cell were negative. All tumors did not express myeloperoxidase. T-cell receptor gene rearrangement, EBV, CD13 and CD33 were negative. In one patient, tumor cells arranged in Homer-Wright type pseudorosette and expressed terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT). Despite the standard lymphoma chemotherapy, the tumors, except one lost during follow-up, progressed and relapsed. The patients died 8-60 months after diagnosis.
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