Background: The immunophenotype of peripheral blood lymphocytes and T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients were retrospectively analyzed to explore their value in the diagnosis of CTCL.
Methods: A total of fifty patients' results were enrolled from 2013 to 2021, including 29 malignant skin disorders and 21 benign skin disorders. The immunophenotype of peripheral blood lymphocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry and TCR gene rearrangement was detected by capillary electrophoresis. Lymphocyte subsets, CD4/CD8 ratio, the percentage of CD3+CD4+CD7- cells and CD45RA/CD45RO ratio was calculated between malignant and benign skin disorders. Peripheral blood lymphocyte immunophenotype and TCR gene rearrangement was compared with skin biopsy to evaluate their sensitivity and specificity.
Results: Lymphocyte subsets between malignant and benign groups have no significant difference in percentage of T cell (p > 0.05). The CD4/CD8 ratio is higher in patients with malignant lymphoma than the healthy range. The percentage of CD3+CD4+CD7- cells in malignant groups is higher than that in benign groups and CD45RA/ CD45RO ratio has significant difference between malignant and benign groups (p < 0.05). The sensitivity and specificity of TCR rearrangement for CTCL were 51.7% and 42.9%. The sensitivity and specificity of peripheral blood lymphocyte immunophenotype for CTCL were 44.8% and 33.3%. Combining the two methods, the sensitivity and specificity reached 69.0% and 38.1%, respectively.
Conclusions: CD4/CD8 ratio of lymphocyte subsets, the proportion of CD4+CD7-T cells and CD45RA/CD45RO ratio can effectively distinguish benign and malignant dermatosis. TCR rearrangement method combined with lymphocyte immunophenotype can improve the sensitivity and specificity of CTCL diagnosis.