Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Surg Pathol. 1999 Jun;23(6):656-61.

Spindle cell tumors associated with mycobacteria in lymph nodes of HIV-positive patients: 'Kaposi sarcoma with mycobacteria' and 'mycobacterial pseudotumor'.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Harper Hospital, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Patients infected with HIV often have unusual manifestations of common infections and neoplasms. One such example is "mycobacterial pseudotumor," an exuberant spindle cell lesion induced in lymph nodes by mycobacteria. Kaposi sarcoma also produces a spindle cell proliferation in lymph nodes of HIV-positive patients. These two entities must be differentiated from one another because of differences in treatment and prognosis. We report here, however, three cases of intranodal Kaposi sarcoma with simultaneous mycobacterial infection, the occurrence of which has not been clearly documented. For comparison, we also studied three cases of mycobacterial pseudotumor, of which 14 cases have been described to date. There was considerable histologic overlap between these two lesions. Acid-fast bacilli were present in all cases, predominantly in the more epithelioid histiocytes in the cases of Kaposi sarcoma, and in spindle and epithelioid cells in the cases of mycobacterial pseudotumor. The morphologic features that favored Kaposi sarcoma over mycobacterial pseudotumor were the prominent fascicular arrangement of spindle cells and slitlike spaces, the lack of granular, acidophilic cytoplasm, and the presence of mitoses. Immunohistochemistry was a reliable adjunct study in the differential diagnosis, as the spindle cells in mycobacterial pseudotumor were positive for S-100 protein and CD68 whereas those of Kaposi sarcoma were CD31- and CD34-positive but negative for S-100 protein and CD68. Awareness that Kaposi sarcoma may coexist with mycobacterial infection in the same biopsy specimen is important because these lesions may be misdiagnosed as mycobacterial pseudotumor. The clinical impact of distinguishing between Kaposi sarcoma with mycobacteria and mycobacterial pseudotumor is significant because the presence of Kaposi sarcoma alters treatment and prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center