Kaposi sarcoma of lung

Case contributed by Ian Bickle
Diagnosis certain


Retroviral disease patient in late 30's. Cachexia. Abnormal chest radiograph. Small purple papules on limbs.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Multifocal consolidation both lungs with a 'flame shaped' appearance, best observed in the upper lobes.  These lie at the distal end of the bronchovascular bundles.  This is both perihilar and distal in distribution.

No interlobular septal thickening.

Small volume mediastinal lymphadenopathy.

Biopsy Report

A mass formed of spindle shaped cells surrounding cleft like spaces situated in the lung.  Hyperchromatic and pleomorphic nuclei.  Stains for pneumocystis carinii are negative.

The spindle cells stain positively with endothelial markers C34 and factor VIII related antigen.  Vimentin is positive.   Desmin and SMA are negative.

Comment:  The appearances are those of Kaposi’s sarcoma

Case Discussion

Kaposi sarcoma is highly associated with patients with retroviral disease, typically involving the skin. It is a low-to-intermediate grade mesenchymal tumor that involves the lymphovascular system.

Rarely it occurs in other organs, such as the lungs.

On CT chest ill-defined (flame-shaped) nodular opacities with a bilateral and roughly symmetrical perilymphatic and peribronchovascular distribution have been documented.  However, a range of other findings are also described, such as focal groundglass change and interlobular septal thickening.


How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.