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Thymocyte selection–associated high-mobility group box as a potential diagnostic marker differentiating hypopigmented mycosis fungoides from early vitiligo: A pilot study

 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Marwa Yassin Soltan,
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Abbasiya Square, Postal Code 11566, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_1011_18

PMID: 31857520

Background: Hypopigmented mycosis fungoides is a rare variant of mycosis fungoides that may mimic many benign inflammatory hypopigmented dermatoses, and as yet there is no identified marker to differentiate between them. Aim: The aim of this study was to study the expression of thymocyte selection–associated high-mobility group box (TOX) in hypopigmented mycosis fungoides and one of its inflammatory mimickers (early active vitiligo) to assess its potential as a differentiating diagnostic marker. Methods: A case–control study was done using immunohistochemical analysis of TOX expression in 15 patients with hypopigmented mycosis fungoides and 15 patients with early active vitiligo. Immunohistochemical analysis was done via a semi-quantitative method and an image analysis method. Results: Hypopigmented mycosis fungoides showed a statistically significant higher expression of TOX than early active vitiligo. The expression of TOX was positive in a majority of hypopigmented mycosis fungoides cases (14 cases, 93.3%), while only one case (6.7%) of vitiligo was weakly positive. TOX also displayed 93.3% sensitivity and specificity, with a cut-off value of 1.5. Limitations: This was a pilot study testing hypopigmented mycosis fungoides against only a single benign inflammatory mimicker (early vitiligo). Other benign mimickers were not included. Conclusion: Our findings showed that TOX expression can differentiate hypopigmented mycosis fungoides from early active vitiligo which is one of its benign inflammatory mimickers, with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity.

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    -  Ibrahim MA
    -  Mohamed A
    -  Soltan MY
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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow