Monday, July 31, 2006

Lymphedematous HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma.

Lymphedematous HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma.
July 2006 - Journal of Cutaneous Pathology

Ramdial PK, Chetty R, Singh B, Singh R, Aboobaker J.

Department of Anatomical Pathology, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Durban, South Africa.

Advanced Kaposi's sarcoma is frequently associated with chronic lymphedema (cLO). The histopathological features of lymphedematous HIV-associated KS (KS) are poorly documented and the co-existence of fibroma-like nodules in lymphedematous KS is under-recognized. The aims of this study were to assess the clinicopathological spectrum and diagnostic difficulties associated with lymphedematous KS and to highlight the clinicopathological profile of fibroma-like nodules. In addition, the pathogenesis of fibroma-like nodules and cLO is revisited.

Prospective 17-month clinicopathological study of all biopsies from patients with lymphedematous KS. Seventy-four biopsies, the majority from the lower limbs, from 41 patients were evaluated. Nineteen, 14, five and three patients had one, two, three or four biopsies each, respectively. In 14 biopsies, there was poor clinicopathological correlation of KS stage. Exclusive lesional KS (patch, plaque, nodule or lymphangioma-like) was identified in 29 biopsies; 23 and eight biopsies demonstrated KS or fibroma-like morphology and the adjacent dermis demonstrated cLO. There was variable intratumoral and peritumoral venous compression and lymphatic dilatation. Fourteen biopsies demonstrated cLO exclusively.

Smaller fibroma-like nodules lacked KS spindle cells, whereas >5 mm nodules demonstrated focal KS spindle cell proliferation and aggregation on extensive sectioning. The subcutis of 42 biopsies demonstrated variable fibrosis, hemosiderin deposits, lymphocytes, plasma cells, KS, interstitial granular material and pools of lymph fluid. Subcutaneous abscesses were identified in six biopsies.

All biopsies had variable epidermal features of cLO. cLO influences clinicopathological correlation of KS stage and may also mask the presence of KS and the co-existence of subcutaneous abscesses. Smaller fibroma-like nodules are hypothesized to be a manifestation of cLO that have the potential to acquire the characteristics of KS. Lymphatic and venous obstruction, protein-rich interstitial fluid, tissue hemosiderin and subcutaneous infection are hypothesized to play a combined role in the evolution and perpetuation of cLO.

PMID: 16872469 [PubMed - in process]