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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
Oct 2011

Pathology Quiz Case 3: Diagnosis

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;137(10):1050-1051. doi:10.1001/archoto.2011.164-b

Diagnosis: Kaposi sarcoma (KS) of the nasopharynx

Kaposi sarcoma, which was first described as “idiopathic multiple pigmented sarcoma of the skin” by Moriz Kaposi in 1872, is a low-grade mesenchymal tumor that differentiates toward blood and lymphatic vessels, primarily affecting the skin and causing disseminated disease in a variety of organs.1-3 Four types of KS have been reported: classic, endemic (African), iatrogenic (transplant-associated), and AIDS-related.1,2,4 All forms of KS are now known to be related to human herpesvirus 8 (KS-associated herpesvirus) infection.1,4,5 Furthermore, HIV-1 infection is considered to be a potentiating cofactor in the tumorigenesis of homosexual male patients with KS and AIDS.1 Human herpesvirus 8 is involved in the pathogenesis of KS by means of participation in cell growth, signaling apoptosis, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation.1,4

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