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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 1-4
Clinical Gastroenterology

Dermatomyositis with Kaposi’s Sarcoma in a Patient without Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Infection

Dana Liang, Andrew Szilagyi, Robin C Billick, Herbert Srolovitz, and Ricardo Bullen

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, and Departments of Dermatology and Pathology, Sir Mortimer B Davis Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Received 30 October 1990; Accepted 5 December 1990

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The first case of dermatomyositis complicating cutaneous and visceral Kaposi’s sarcoma is presented in a 75-year-old man without human immunodeficiency virus infection. Dermatomyositis preceded a definitive diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma by six months, although in retrospect unrecognized lesions may have presented simultaneously. He was treated with prednisone and azathioprine, thus raising the possibility of the role of immunosuppression in promoting progression of the sarcoma. It is suggested that although the association between dermatomyositis and Kaposi’s sarcoma occurs rarely, dermatomyositis should be considered a paraneoplastic syndrome of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Further, the finding of cutaneous lesions of Kaposi’s sarcoma could predict gastrointestinal involvement when dermatomyositis and Kaposi’s sarcoma occur in the same patient.