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Transplantation. 1996 Aug 27;62(4):463-6.

Renal transplantation exposes patients with previous Kaposi's sarcoma to a high risk of recurrence.

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Nephrology Department, Hôpital Erasme, Cliniques Universitaires de Bruxelles, Belgium.


It is currently estimated that about 0.5% of patients will develop Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) after kidney transplantation. Tapering of immunosuppression often leads to KS remission, but also results in graft loss in more than 50% of cases. Whether retransplantation is safe in these patients is unknown. We here report on eight patients who developed KS recurrence after kidney transplantation-(A) Patients with previously treated KS: There were 4 patients who had clinical remission of KS (including three posttransplantation) for periods ranging from 5 months up to 19 years before transplantation. All 4 developed KS recurrence within months after transplantation. In 3 patients, KS regressed only when all immunosuppression was discontinued, at the price of allograft removal. Partial remission occurred in the fourth patient following reduction of immunosuppression and gancyclovir administration; (B) Patients with recurrent KS during a single transplant: 4 patients developed KS after transplantation that regressed following reduction of immunosuppressive therapy. Increased immunosuppression, in the form of steroid pulses in 3 patients was associated with recurrence of KS. Subsequent reduction of immunosuppression caused regression of KS in all 4 patients, but 2 recipients lost their allografts. These data emphasize the high risk of recurrence of KS after renal transplantation. If physicians decide to transplant patients with a history of KS, they should inform the future recipient of the possibility of KS recurrence.

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