The histological prevalence and clinical implications of folliculotropism and syringotropism in mycosis fungoides

Claudia Hossain, Tara Jennings, Robert Duffy, Kelly Knoblauch, Ashley Gochoco, Inna Chervoneva, Wenyin Shi, S. Onder Alpdogan, Pierluigi Porcu, Barbara Pro, Joya Sahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mycosis fungoides (MF), the most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, remains a challenge for clinicians to stage and manage. Classically, MF is determined through histopathologic evidence of a neoplastic infiltrate within the epidermis. In certain patients, however, the infiltrate extends into the hair follicles and sweat glands. The objective of this study is to determine the utility of expanding the analysis of histopathology reports to include the reporting of folliculotropism and syringotropism. Methods: This is a prospective, observational study conducted in a single facility from 2012–2018. All patients with MF, excluding those treated at this facility for less than six months with the exception of those with incomplete pruritus documentation, or absence of initial biopsy analysis were studied. Modified severity weighted assessment tool (mSWAT) quantified body surface area and treatments attempted per patient were continuously charted. Patients were surveyed for presence and degree of pruritus and pain. Evaluation of these parameters were charted at the initial patient visit and correlated with their primary biopsy for presence or absence of folliculotropism and syringotropism. Results: Of the 87 patients examined, 70 patients (80%) exhibited syringotropism in their original biopsy and 68 patients (78%) exhibited folliculotropism. Presence of both findings concurrently was present in 56 patients (64.4%), while neither finding was present in 5 patients (5.8%). The singular finding of folliculotropism was found in 12 patients (13.8%), while the singular finding of syringotropism was exhibited in 14 patients (16.1%). A significant association between the presence of folliculotropism and pruritus was established (P=0.043, α=0.05). The general trend towards increase in mSWAT score and pruritus in patients in regard to the mean and median values suggest that increasing the sample population of the study might yield a significant value in the future. Conclusions: These presentations are more prevalent than previously recognized and have findings indicative of more severe disease. We propose that MF histopathology reports document the presence of folliculotropism and syringotropism and that these findings be added to the NCCN guidelines as they may aid in predicting severity and progression risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalChinese clinical oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Folliculotropism
  • Mycosis fungoides (MF)
  • Syringotropism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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