Oral HIV-associated Kaposi sarcoma

J Oral Pathol Med. 2013 Mar;42(3):201-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2012.01180.x. Epub 2012 Jun 5.


Kaposi sarcoma (KS), an AIDS defining condition, remains one of the most commonly HIV-associated neoplasms. While the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has brought about a dramatic decrease in the prevalence and incidence of AIDS-KS worldwide, this has not been the case in resource-poor sub-Saharan African countries, where HIV has reached epidemic proportions and human herpesvirus-8 infection is endemic. Oral involvement is a common manifestation of AIDS-associated KS and may be an early presenting finding of HIV infection. The clinical manifestation of oral KS can vary and may have an unpredictable course ranging from mild to fulminant. Rapidly progressive facial lymphoedema associated with extensive advanced oral KS portends a poor prognosis. Oral KS may regress with antiretroviral therapy or may flare up as part of the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. The oral lesions of AIDS-KS are best managed with HAART together with systemic chemotherapy. This article provides a review of contemporary knowledge of the biology, pathology, clinical features and management of oral AIDS-KS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology*
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • HIV Infections / pathology
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphedema / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / pathology*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma