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Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 1991 Jun;13(3):201-8.

Flow cytometric DNA content in Kaposi's sarcoma by histologic stage. Comparison with angiosarcoma.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Kaposi's sarcoma occurs as a multicentric proliferation of endothelial cells. A lesion may progress through several histologic stages, culminating in a lesion consisting of spindle cells with marked nuclear atypia that may be indistinguishable from angiosarcoma. To assess the relationship between the nuclear DNA content and the stage, 29 paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens from 25 cases of Kaposi's sarcoma were classified according to their histologic stage and flow cytometric DNA ploidy status. The findings were compared with those in 14 angiosarcomas (5 postmastectomy angiosarcomas, 6 other cutaneous angiosarcomas and 3 angiosarcomas of deep tissues). The Kaposi's sarcoma specimens studied included samples with irregular lymphatic-like channels (stage 1), transition to spindle cells (stage 1t2), nodular spindle-cell aggregates (stage 2), scattered atypical spindle cells (stage 2t3) and histologic features indistinguishable from those of angiosarcoma (stage 3). Of the 25 Kaposi's sarcoma specimens of stage 2 or less, 17 had a diploid DNA distribution while an additional 8 had broad diploid G0G1 peaks (peridiploid, with a coefficient of variation greater than 7.5%, present in similar proportions in stages 1, 1t2 and 2). One of three stage 2t3 lesions showed tetraploidy while the single stage 3 specimen (from the leg) was aneuploid, with a DNA index (DI = 1.16) similar to that of four of the five postmastectomy angiosarcomas (DI = 1.14 to 1.20). An additional three angiosarcomas also showed nondiploid distributions (DI = 1.16, 1.98 and 2.13, respectively); the remainder were diploid or peridiploid. These results support previous cytogenetic data suggesting a normal karyotype in Kaposi's sarcoma up to stage 2, with atypia beginning as cells acquire numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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