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Leukemia cutis in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Leukemia cutis in Child

Contributors: Gaurav Singh MD, MPH, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Leukemia cutis occurs when the skin is infiltrated by a malignant proliferation of leukocytes. There are several subtypes, including skin involvement associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Leukemia cutis portends a poorer prognosis.

The frequency of skin involvement in leukemia is unknown. Approximately a quarter-million Americans are affected by leukemia at any time. Leukemia is the most common malignancy of childhood, and boys are more likely to develop the disease than girls. Ninety percent of leukemias are diagnosed in adults and typically present after age 50.


C95.90 – Leukemia, unspecified not having achieved remission

404156009 – Leukemic infiltration of skin

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scar
  • Persistent Arthropod bite or sting
  • Lichenoid keratosis
  • Lymphoma cutis, including association with Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma, Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Pseudolymphoma
  • Non-AIDS Kaposi sarcoma
  • Dermal hypersensitivity
  • Vasculitis (small and medium vessel)
  • Drug eruptions such as Exanthematous drug eruption and Fixed drug eruption
  • Cutaneous extramedullary hematopoiesis
  • Septic emboli
  • Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
  • Nodular Scabies
  • Petechiae
  • Purpura
  • Graft-versus-host disease (Acute graft-versus-host disease or Chronic graft-versus-host disease)
  • Acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis (Sweet syndrome), particularly the histiocytoid variant, can appear identical to leukemia cutis clinically and histologically.

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Last Reviewed:02/14/2019
Last Updated:04/14/2019
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Leukemia cutis in Child
A medical illustration showing key findings of Leukemia cutis : Lymphadenopathy, Smooth nodule, Smooth plaque, Splenomegaly
Clinical image of Leukemia cutis - imageId=69197. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A close-up of smooth deep red papules.'
A close-up of smooth deep red papules.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.