Brain localization of Kaposi's sarcoma in a patient treated by combination antiretroviral therapy

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Background: Central nervous system is a very rare site of Kaposi's sarcoma in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Kaposi's sarcoma, a neoplasm of endothelial origin, occurs mainly in the skin, but can involve many tissues, especially in patients with a poor immunity. Combination antiretroviral therapy, highly active against human immunodeficiency virus type-1, has caused a dramatic reduction of cutaneous and visceral involvements. No report of central nervous system localization of Kaposi's sarcoma is described since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy in the late 90's. Case presentation: A 42 year-old Caucasian man affected by human immunodeficiency virus type-1 infection treated with combination antiretroviral therapy and showing relatively preserved immunity with low viral load presented gingival squamous cell carcinoma and visceral (lungs and lymph nodes) Kaposi's sarcoma. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy were performed with improvement of both neoplasms. Afterwards, a magnetic resonance imaging showed focal lesions of the brain. Despite new chemotherapy and radiotherapy the patient died. Histology after autopsy revealed brain lesions due to Kaposi's sarcoma with the detection of Human Herpesvirus 8 on tissue samples. Conclusions: This is the first report in the combination antiretroviral therapy era of a very rare complication of Kaposi's sarcoma, such as that of brain localization, in a patient with a relatively good control of human immunodeficiency virus infection. Therefore, Kaposi's sarcoma should be considered in differential diagnosis with other intracranial mass lesions that can occur in human immunodeficiency virus infected-patients focusing the issue of appropriate treatment for central nervous system involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number600
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2013


  • Central nervous system
  • Combination antiretroviral therapy
  • HHV-8
  • HIV
  • Kaposi's sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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