Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus type 8-positive solid lymphomas: a tissue-based variant of primary effusion lymphoma

J Mol Diagn. 2005 Feb;7(1):17-27. doi: 10.1016/S1525-1578(10)60004-9.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also termed human herpesvirus type 8, is consistently identified in Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and multicentric Castleman's disease. Here we report four cases of KSHV-bearing solid lymphomas that occurred in AIDS patients (cases 1 to 3) and in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seronegative person (case 4). The patients presented extranodal masses in the abdomen (cases 1, 3, and 4) or skin (case 2), and nodal involvement, together with Kaposi's sarcoma (case 3). The gastrointestinal tract was involved in two patients (cases 1 and 3). The patients did not develop a lymphomatous effusion. KSHV was detected in the tumor cells of all cases by immunohistochemistry and by polymerase chain reaction. Epstein-Barr virus was detected in two of the HIV-related cases. All KSHV-positive solid lymphomas exhibited PEL-like cell morphology. To investigate the relationship of these disorders to PEL and to other AIDS-associated diffuse large cell lymphomas, KSHV-positive solid lymphomas were tested for the expression of a set of genes that were previously shown by gene profiling analysis to define PEL tumor cells. The results showed that expression of this set of genes in KSHV-positive lymphomas is similar to that of PEL but distinct from KSHV-negative AIDS-associated diffuse large cell lymphomas. Because pathobiological features of KSHV-positive solid lymphomas closely mimic those of PEL, our results suggest that KSHV-positive solid lymphomas should be considered as a tissue-based variant of classical PEL, irrespective of HIV status.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma / immunology
  • Lymphoma / virology*
  • Male
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / virology
  • Up-Regulation