Immunostaining for human herpesvirus 8 latent nuclear antigen-1 helps distinguish Kaposi sarcoma from its mimickers

Am J Clin Pathol. 2004 Mar;121(3):335-42. doi: 10.1309/B8TC-0LBV-H8XY-5MFV.


We assessed the usefulness of a mouse monoclonal antibody (13B10) against human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) latent nuclear antigen-1 (LNA-1) in diagnosis of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and for distinguishing it from various mimickers by studying 50 cases of KS and 53 mimickers (angiosarcoma, 15; kaposiform hemangioendothelioma, 6; spindle cell hemangioma, 3; reactive angioendotheliomatosis, 3; bacillary angiomatosis, 4; acroangiomatous dematitis, 2; microvenular hemangioma, 2; hobnail hemangioma, 2; pyogenic granuloma, 5; dermatofibroma, 8; arteriovenous hemangioma, 1; verrucous hemangioma, 1; nonspecific vascular proliferation, 1) from patients with or without acquired HIV infection. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections. All 50 cases of KS were positive for HHV-8 LNA-1, with immunolocalization in the nuclei of the spindle cells and cells lining the primitive and thin-walled vascular channels, whereas all 53 mimickers (including 4 lesions from HIV-positive patients) tested negative. The results idicate that positive immunostaining for HHV-8 LNA- 1 exhibits high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of KS and is, thus, useful for distinguishing it from the mimickers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Nuclear Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nuclear Proteins / immunology
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / virology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • latent nuclear antigen (LNA)