Atypical cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorder (ACLD) is a rare condition that has been associated with HIV infection. Patients with ACLD present with diffuse, erythematous and pruritic skin lesions accompanied by generalized lymphadenopathy. The clinical characteristics of ACLD overlap most notably with several other conditions including Mycosis Fungoides/Sézary Syndrome (MF/SS), a cutaneous lymphoma of T-cell lineage. Unlike Mycosis Fungoides, the noxious infiltrates of ACLD are not monoclonal but polyclonal and consist of cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells instead of CD4+ T-cells or B-cells. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been reported to improve ACLD. We describe the case of a Caucasian man with longstanding HIV infection who presented with severe erythroderma. Skin and lymph node biopsies showed polyclonal CD8+ T-cell infiltrates. Gene rearrangement studies did not reveal an obvious clonal disorder. Hallmark peripheral blood findings consisting of a severe depletion of CD4+ T-lymphocytes and markedly elevated CD8+ cells provided an important diagnostic clue. Despite the purported benefits of HAART in ameliorating this disorder, erythroderma and extreme pruritus improved only after the patient began taking mycophenolate mofetil and hydroxyurea. Unfortunately, he succumbed to complications of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus septicemia. We alert readers to this rare HIV-associated condition which may mimic other benign and malignant skin conditions and briefly discuss diagnostic and therapeutic options.
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