Chronic myeloid leukemia-leukemia cutis mimicking a neutrophilic panniculitis-like leukemia cutis: Report of a rare case

Brandon Zelman, Olaoluwa Bode-Omoleye, Aaron Muhlbauer, Ada Agidi, Mariam Mafee, Milind Velankar, Kamran Mirza, Jodi Speiser, Kumaran Mudaliar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While drug-induced panniculitis is not uncommon in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients on tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, it is rare for CML to initially present as a leukemic panniculitis. We present the case of a 45-year-old male with no relevant prior medical history presenting with 6 months of migratory nodules, 2 months of drenching night sweats, and a 20 pound weight loss. Physical examination showed firm subcutaneous nodules with overlying ecchymoses present on the right lateral thigh and left lower back. Biopsy of a nodule from the right thigh showed a subcutaneous lobular panniculitis involved by a dense infiltrate of neutrophils and granulocyte precursors. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) was positive for t(9;22)(q34;q11.2)BCR-ABL1 fusion. A concurrent hemogram revealed a white blood cell count elevation of 600,000 K/μL. Bone marrow biopsy examination showed marked myeloid expansion with an increase in granulocyte precursors and Philadelphia chromosome positivity by FISH, consistent with bone marrow involvement by CML. Herein, we describe this unusual and rare case of CML initially presenting as a neutrophilic panniculitis-like leukemia cutis. Arriving at this challenging diagnosis may be easily missed without clinical and laboratory correlation, which would certainly lead to the patient's not receiving life-saving treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1281
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CML-leukemia cutis
  • leukemia cutis
  • panniculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Dermatology


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