Classic Kaposi's sarcoma associated with human herpesvirus 8 infection in a 13-year-old male: A case report

Heather J. Landau, Bernard J. Poiesz, Samalima Dube, Jeffrey A. Bogart, Leonard B. Weiner, Abdul Kader Souid

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Classic Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is rare in children. Although its etiology is not fully understood, human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is present in the angiogenic lesions. We report an HIV-negative, 13-year-old patient of Sicilian descent with HHV-8-associated classic KS to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of this entity in children. Experimental Design: DNA was extracted from the skin specimen of the patient and analyzed via PCR assay and Southern blot hybridization for HHV-8 DNA. The amplified HHV-8 DNA was cloned, sequenced, and compared with the prototype HHV-8-KS330/BAM. Results: The patient presented with purpuric lesions on the distal lower extremities and the tip of his nose, associated with thrombocytopenia and leukopenia, suggesting an immune-mediated cytopenia. While on prednisone, he developed marked vascular proliferation in the groins. Biopsy of the skin lesions showed KS, and HHV-8 was detected in the tissues by PCR. Sequence analysis of the amplified DNA was homologous to the prototype HHV-8-KS330/BAM. His HHV-8 strain was the A subgroup, the type associated with Mediterranean classic KS. Stopping prednisone and treatment with IFN-α and IgG resulted in regression of the groin lesions. Conclusions: This report emphasizes the importance of recognizing classic KS in children and avoiding immunosuppressive therapies in indolent classic KS. The diagnostic and therapeutic strategies were effective and well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2263-2268
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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