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June 1989

Kaposi Sarcoma of the Conjunctiva and Eyelids Associated With the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the AIDS Unit of the UCLA Uveitis Center, the Jules Stein Eye Institute (Drs Shuler and Holland); the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Shuler and Holland) and Medicine (Drs Miles and Miller), UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles; and the Spalding Radiology Center, Beverly Hills, Calif (Dr Grossman).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(6):858-862. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010880035

• Three studies were performed to assess more accurately the prevalence, natural history, and appropriate treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related Kaposi sarcoma involving ocular structures. The first study was a prospective examination of 100 male homosexuals with AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma for signs of ophthalmic involvement. Of the 20 patients who had ophthalmic lesions, 16 had eyelid lesions and seven had conjunctival lesions. In four patients, the ophthalmic lesion was the first, and initially the only, clinically identified manifestation of Kaposi sarcoma. The second study was a retrospective review of all patients with ophthalmic Kaposi sarcoma examined at one institution over a six-year period to determine its natural history and response to therapy. Most lesions were slowly progressive and responded to systemic drug therapy. Six patients were successfully treated with radiation therapy to prevent complications. The third study was a retrospective review of all patients with AIDS-related ophthalmic Kaposi sarcoma treated with local irradiation by one radiation oncologist. Each of 12 patients showed a response to treatment, and ten had a complete resolution of lesions, but recurrences were common. Side effects included skin erythema in six patients and hair loss in one patient. For local treatment of ophthalmic Kaposi sarcoma, irradiation appears to be safe and effective for palliative therapy.