Kaposi, Moritz K.

(redirected from Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus)

Kaposi, Moritz K.

Hungarian dermatologist, 1837–1902. His original name was Moritz Kohn.

Kaposi disease

Xeroderma pigmentosum.
Enlarge picture

Kaposi sarcoma

Abbreviation: KS
A lymphatic endothelial malignancy, rather than a true sarcoma, composed of multiple red or purple macules, papules, or nodules, that is first apparent on the skin or mucous membranes but may involve the internal organs. Once a rare disease seen primarily in elderly men of Mediterranean, African, or Ashkenazi descent (so-called classic KS), it is the most common cancer related to AIDS. In patients with AIDS, KS is believed to be sexually acquired due to acquisition of human herpesvirus 8. When KS is associated with AIDS, it progresses and disseminates rapidly to multiple skin sites, as well as the lymph nodes and visceral organs. See: illustration; AIDS


The lesions are typically painless but may be cosmetically disfiguring or may interfere with internal organ function. They are found most often on the dorsa of the feet and lower extremities in patients with classic KS, and on the face, trunk, oral cavity, and internal organs in immunosuppressed patients. KS is sometimes referred to as “epidemic” in patients with HIV infection; “endemic” in parts of Africa; and “acquired” in patients taking immune-suppressing drugs after organ transplantation. In advanced disease, the lesions may merge into large plaques, sometimes blocking lymphatics and causing localized edema. Involvement of internal organs, primarily the gastrointestinal tract or the lungs, may result in dyspepsia or dyspnea.


Characteristic tumors on the skin suggest the diagnosis, which should be confirmed by tissue biopsy.


Treatment options include radiation therapy, cancer chemotherapies, cryotherapy, hormone therapies, and biotherapy (interferon alfa-2b).

Patient care

Epidemic KS may profoundly alter the patient's appearance. Emotional support for the patient and family may help them cope with the diagnosis and its effects on body image. Psychological counseling may be needed. Standard precautions should be followed when assessing or caring for the patient. The skin should be assessed for new lesions at each health care contact.

Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus

Abbreviation: KSHV
Human herpesvirus 8.

Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus

Human herpesvirus 8.

Kaposi varicelliform eruption

Eczema herpeticum.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Immunophenotypic analysis of the Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV; HHV-8)-infected B cells in HIV+ multicentric Castleman disease (MCD).
The Impact of preexisting or acquired Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus infection in kidney transplant recipients on morbidity and survival.
In Reply.--We thank the authors for sharing this interesting commentary on the role of the Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus protein K5 in the degradation of CD31, thereby providing a biological explanation for the lower sensitivity of this marker compared with other endothelial markers in Kaposi sarcoma.