The Presentation and Survival of Patients With Non-Cutaneous AIDS-associated Kaposi's Sarcoma

Ann Oncol. 2006 Mar;17(3):503-6. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdj091. Epub 2005 Nov 25.


Background: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome related Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. We describe for the first time a proportion of patients with AIDS-KS who presented with no evidence of cutaneous disease.

Patients and methods: From our cohort of 5932 individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) treated in the HAART era, 319 were identified with KS. Of these, 11 patients (5.4%) were diagnosed with KS without the presence of any cutaneous disease. We compared their survival, clinical, immunological and virological characteristics to other individuals with KS.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in survival, CD4 count or HIV viral load at KS presentation. We observed that tumour-associated oedema (P = 0.046) and non-oral gastrointestinal KS (P = 0.042) were significantly more common in patients with non-cutaneous KS. Only one case of non-cutaneous KS was observed prior to the era of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART).

Conclusions: Non-cutaneous KS is a recognisable condition; patients should be treated with the standard of care as their prognosis is not inferior. This is likely to reflect a strong immune response, in the era of HAART.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / complications
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / physiopathology*
  • Survival Analysis*