Recurrent and self-healing cutaneous monoclonal plasmablastic infiltrates in a patient with AIDS and Kaposi sarcoma

Br J Dermatol. 2005 Oct;153(4):828-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06803.x.


Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare variant of diffuse large cell lymphoma that often involves the oral cavity of HIV+ patients. It is characterized by immunoblastic morphology and plasma cell phenotype. Cutaneous involvement in PBL appears to be rare. We report a 44-year-old man with AIDS and Kaposi sarcoma (KS) previously treated with doxorubicin who, following treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy, developed an erythematous infiltrated nodule on the right arm. Histology showed subcutaneous fat necrosis and clusters of atypical large plasma cells (plasmablastic cells). Immunohistochemistry revealed lambda light chain restriction. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) mRNA was detected by in situ hybridization within the plasmablastic cells. Polymerase chain reaction amplification with specific primers for human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) performed on the skin biopsy specimen detected a specific band. A complete screening (bone marrow biopsy, computed tomographic scan, radiological survey) disclosed no abnormalities. The lesion resolved spontaneously after 3 months. Two years later an infiltrated plaque developed on the abdominal wall. The clinical and histopathological features of this new lesion were similar to those observed 2 years previously. No evidence of extracutaneous involvement was detected. The lesion again resolved spontaneously after 25 days. PBL may be seen in patients with transplants or receiving chemotherapy, but is usually observed in patients with advanced AIDS. The observation of recurrent self-healing EBV- and HHV-8-associated cutaneous monoclonal plasmablastic infiltrates, in a patient with AIDS and KS, expands the clinical spectrum of AIDS-associated plasmablastic lymphoproliferative disorders.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / pathology
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, AIDS-Related / pathology
  • Lymphoma, AIDS-Related / virology*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / virology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Regression, Spontaneous
  • Recurrence
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / complications*