Kaposi’s sarcoma is a neoplasm of endothelial cells within the skin and other organs. Most KS patients are homosexual men. KS may be present in up to 46% of homosexual men with advanced HIV disease at initial diagnosis. The incidence in heterosexual injection drug users is only 3.8%. Herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) has been associated with KS. Most individuals with KS have generalized, slowly progressive disease; others have stable KS.
KS may affect any portion of the cutaneous surface. Initially, it appears as red-to-brown flat macules. Papules, nodules, and tumors may also be present or develop later. Numbering from one to hundreds, they range in size from several millimeters to over 10 cm and may be widespread, grouped, or zosteriform. KS may affect mucosal surfaces and internal organs. Visceral involvement occurs in 72% of patients with advanced HIV disease and KS, most often affecting the gastrointestinal tract (50%), lymph nodes (50%), and lungs (37%). canadian online pharmacy
Biopsy of the skin establishes the diagnosis. A 3.5- to 4.0-mm punch biopsy should be taken from the center of the lesion.
If treatment is necessary, radiation and systemic alpha-interferon or chemotherapy may be used. Cutaneous lesions may improve with local cryotherapy or intralesional injections of vinblastine, 0.2 to 0.6 mg/mL.