Retrospective analysis of sepsis in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma reveals significantly greater risk in Black patients

Madeline J. Hooper, Francesca L. Veon, Gail L. Enriquez, Morgan Nguyen, Cameron B. Grimes, Tessa M. LeWitt, Yanzhen Pang, Slaton Case, Jaehyuk Choi, Joan Guitart, Michael B. Burns, Xiaolong A. Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Sepsis is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and resource utilization among patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Objective: To characterize the demographic, clinical, and microbial attributes distinguishing patients with CTCL sepsis from other patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) sepsis and patients with CTCL in general. Methods: Two-part retrospective cohort study at an academic medical center from 2001-2019 involving patients with CTCL (n = 97) and non-CTCL NHL (n = 88) admitted with sepsis, and a same-institution CTCL patient database (n = 1094). Overall survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analyses. Results: Patients with CTCL sepsis were more likely to be older, Black, experience more sepsis episodes, die or be readmitted within 30 days of an inpatient sepsis episode, and develop Gram-positive bacteremia than patients with non-CTCL NHL sepsis. Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were the most frequently speciated organisms in CTCL (26%) and non-CTCL NHL (14%), respectively. No between-group differences were identified regarding sex, presence of central line, chemotherapy use, or disease stage. Compared with general patients with CTCL, patients with sepsis were Black and exhibited advanced-stage disease, higher body surface area involvement, and higher lactate dehydrogenase levels. Limitations: Single institution, retrospective nature may limit generalizability. Conclusion: Awareness of CTCL-specific risk factors is crucial for guiding sepsis prevention and improving patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Black patients
  • bacteremia
  • cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • outcomes
  • race
  • risk factors
  • sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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