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Am J Dermatopathol. 2006 Aug;28(4):317-21.

Detection of HHV-8 in pyogenic granuloma-like Kaposi sarcoma.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, USA.


Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a low-grade vascular neoplasm associated with human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) infection. Clinically, lesions commence as blue-red macules that may develop into plaques and eventually into nodules. The histologic appearance spans a broad spectrum and varies with the stage of the lesion. At each stage, KS has significant morphologic overlap with other vasoproliferative lesions. Recently, we encountered 6 KS tumors that histologically mimicked pyogenic granuloma (PG), a common benign vascular tumor of the skin that usually does not figure in the histologic differential diagnosis of KS. We stained 6 PG-like KS and 28 PGs with a mouse monoclonal antibody (13B10) against HHV-8 latent nuclear antigen-1 (LNA-1) to determine the utility of immunoperoxidase staining in distinguishing KS from PG. All 6 PG-like KS demonstrated nuclear staining for HHV-8 LNA-1. No staining was identified in any of the 28 PGs. Histologic criteria often used to differentiate between these two entities were not helpful in our cases. The only distinguishing feature was the presence or absence of HHV-8 LNA-1 staining. The presence of HHV-8 LNA-1 nuclear staining seems to be a specific marker for KS when comparing PGs and PG-like KS. Immunoperoxidase staining for HHV-8 LNA-1 is a useful diagnostic tool in this setting.

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