Clonality studies employing PCR techniques led to the identification of cases with chronic, nonspecific dermatitis harboring T-cell clones. These cases have been referred to as "clonal dermatitis" (1). Some of these patients progressed to overt CTCL. About 25% of clonal dermatitis cases progress to overt CTCL within five years (1). These observations indicate that at least some cases of "clonal dermatitis" represent CTCL precursor lesions. Clonal dermatitis would thus be one of the earliest manifestations of CTCL, harboring a dominant T-cell clone but lacking histologic features diagnostic for CTCL.
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