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Cutaneous lymphoid hyperplasia (CLH) is defined as a lymphocytic skin infiltration with a benign course, either because once the cause has been identified it can be addressed and a cure is obtained, or because it is an idiopathic form but one that is clearly recognised as being benign in practice. Nonetheless, the idea that it is benign does not exclude the possibility of recurrence.
A diagnosis of CLH is based mainly on histology because the clinical presentation can be extremely varied. The experienced clinician may perhaps be able to suggest a diagnosis of CLH but it is the pathologist who will put forward a diagnosis that can, ultimately, be confirmed for certain by comparing the clinical presentation with the skin biopsy results. It is sometimes the case that the clinical and histological features of CLH are very similar to those seen in cutaneous lymphomas (in particular mycosis fungoides and some low-grade B lymphomas) to the extent that the term “cutaneous pseudolymphoma” is still used today to refer to CLH. This term, however, is reductive since a large number of cases of CLH have an unquestionably benign histology.
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