Iatrogenic Kaposi sarcoma of the terminal ileum following short-term treatment with immunomodulators for Crohn disease: A case report

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 May;98(20):e15714. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015714.


Rationale: Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a mesenchymal neoplasm associated with human herpes virus-8. It is often found in patients with primary or secondary immunodeficiency. An iatrogenic form of KS is detectable in patients who have received immunosuppressive therapy. To date, there are few reported cases of patients with KS treated with immunosuppressants for inflammatory bowel disease.

Patient concerns: We report the case of a 45-year-old young woman with abdominal pain, episodic diarrhea and a mild weight loss. The patient was treated with immunosuppressive therapy for a parietal thickening of the terminal ileum, wrongly diagnosed as Crohn disease. After 9 months after the beginning of antitumor necrosis factor-α, the patient was admitted for obstructive symptoms. A computed tomography suspected neoplasia of ileocecal region. The patient underwent an uneventful ileocecal surgical resection.

Diagnoses: The histopathology showed endometriosis of the ileal wall and an irrefutable diagnosis of KS by immunohistochemistry-positive staining for human herpes virus-8.

Interventions and outcomes: The patient underwent surgical resection and is disease free at 6 years follow-up.

Lessons: This case underlines the interaction of immunosuppressive therapy with the possible consequent development of visceral KS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Ileal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ileal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / chemically induced*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents