Soft Tissue
Low / intermediate grade vascular tumors
AIDS associated Kaposi sarcoma (epidemic)

Author: Vijay Shankar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 22 September 2016, last major update November 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed search: AIDS-associated [title] kaposi sarcoma

Related topics: Kaposi's sarcoma

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Cite this page: AIDS associated Kaposi sarcoma (epidemic). website. Accessed June 20th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Historically, 40% of homosexual men with AIDS got Kaposi vs. 5% of others with AIDS
  • Incidence of Kaposi has been decreasing over time (Hum Path 2001;32:649Arch Pathol Lab Med 2002;126:182)
  • Early involvement of lymph nodes and gut and wide dissemination
  • Usually not a direct cause of death, although 1 / 3 develop lymphoma or another second malignancy
  • Macule / patch:
    • Pink purple macules of lower extremity or feet
    • Superficial or mid dermal proliferation of collagen dissecting jagged capillary vessels with inconspicuous spindle cell component
    • May be confluence of vessels
  • Plaque:
    • Dermal, dilated, jagged vascular channels that dissect collagen fibers and contain isolated or small groups of spindle cells
    • Red blood cell extravasation prominent
    • Also hemosiderin laden macrophages, pink hyaline globules
  • Nodule / tumor:
    • More distinctly neoplastic, most of lesion composed of spindle cells with intersecting fascicle like pattern in a background of inflammatory cells and red blood cells
    • Small vessels and slitlike spaces with hyaline droplets and rows of red blood cells
    • Mitotic figures common
    • May involve lymph nodes and viscera (African and AIDS variants)
Clinical images
Images hosted on PathOut server:

Ecchymosis like, courtesy of Dr. Mark R. Wick

Images hosted on other servers:

Rapidly growing nodule

Various images

Gross description
  • Indolent disease has 3 stages:
    • Early - macule / patch
    • Intermediate - plaque
    • Late - nodule / tumor
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Dilated irregular blood vessels in background of lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages
  • Resembles granulation tissue
  • Disease spreads proximally, converts to raised
Microscopic (histologic) images
Images hosted on other servers:

Various stains

Positive stains
Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • Detect HHV8 by PCR or in situ hybridization
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