Intrathoracic Kaposi's sarcoma. CT findings

Chest. 1995 Dec;108(6):1622-6. doi: 10.1378/chest.108.6.1622.


Aim: To describe the thin CT scans findings in AIDS patients with intrathoracic Kaposi's sarcoma (KS).

Material and methods: Fifty-three CT scans of patients with KS were retrospectively reviewed. The diagnosis of intrathoracic KS was established histologically (n = 17) or on the association of skin KS and the visualization of characteristic endobronchial lesions (n = 36). CT scans were performed with thin slices (2 mm) obtained at 10-mm intervals, and a 512 x 512 reconstruction matrix. No patients had Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia within the 3 months preceding the CT scan examination.

Results: Numerous nodules (n = 42), tumoral masses (n = 28), bronchovascular pathways thickening (n = 35), and pleural effusions (n = 28) were the most frequent patterns. Septal lines (n = 15), ground-glass opacities (n = 3), and mediastinal adenopathies (n = 8) were not frequent.

Conclusion: Numerous nodules, tumoral masses, bronchovascular pathways thickening, and bilateral pleural effusions were the main signs of intrathoracic KS; their association (66%) is very characteristic. An opportunistic infection or mycobacteriosis must be sought if the thin CT scans reveal ground-glass opacities and/or mediastinal adenopathies.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / etiology
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*