Immunoblastic lymphoma in persons with AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma: a role for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus

Mod Pathol. 2003 May;16(5):424-9. doi: 10.1097/01.MP.0000056629.62148.55.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, the viral agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, is associated with two lymphoproliferative disorders: primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. To identify other lymphoproliferative conditions linked with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, we studied non-Hodgkin's lymphomas arising in individuals with AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma. Formalin-fixed tissues from 24 such lymphomas were examined. As expected, two primary effusion lymphomas were Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-positive, with immunohistochemistry demonstrating the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency-associated nuclear antigen in the nuclei of all neoplastic cells. Additionally, three of seven evaluable cases of the immunoblastic variant of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (immunoblastic lymphoma) showed similar latency-associated nuclear antigen staining. These Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-positive immunoblastic lymphomas resembled primary effusion lymphoma histologically but were not known to involve body cavities (sites included lymph nodes, soft tissues of the neck, and spleen). Notably, 5-20% of the neoplastic cells in the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-positive immunoblastic lymphomas also showed cytoplasmic staining for viral interleukin-6, a biologically active cytokine homologue found in primary effusion lymphoma. We conclude that Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus is present in some immunoblastic lymphomas in persons with AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / etiology*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / virology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / pathology
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Immunoblastic / etiology*
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Immunoblastic / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Immunoblastic / virology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / complications*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / virology
  • Viral Proteins / analysis


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Interleukin-6
  • Viral Proteins