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Dermatology. 1997;194(3):229-33.

Kaposi's sarcoma in renal-transplant recipients: experience at the Catholic University in Rome, 1988-1996.

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  • 1Istituto di Clinica Dermatologica, Universit√† Cattolica Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italia.



The incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in patients transplanted at the Organ Transplant Center of Catholic University in Rome appears to have increased in recent years.


To describe the clinical characteristics of KS in a group of transplant recipients.


Over 8 years, a total of 302 renal-transplant recipients were followed. When KS was suspected, histology and staging procedures were performed.


Ten cases of KS have been diagnosed (8 males, 2 females; age 46.4 +/- 9.4 years); 4 of them were on triple therapy. All the patients were HIV-1 seronegative. The onset of KS occurred 3 months to 4 years after transplantation (21.1 +/- 17.6 months). The disease was limited to the skin in 6 cases and involved internal organs in the remaining 4. Four patients experienced complete remission of the disease following reduction of the immunosuppressive therapy.


The high incidence of KS in this population (2.98%), as compared to that reported in other transplant patient groups, suggests that, besides viral infection, genetic predisposition may play a pathogenetic role. However, immunosuppression is the leading factor in transplant patients.

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