Table of Contents
Volume 2012, Article ID 565463, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Clinicopathological Proficiency in the Diagnosis of Kaposi's Sarcoma

National Health Laboratory Service, Polokwane/Mankweng Hospital Complex and University of Limpopo, Limpopo Province, 0700 Polokwane, South Africa

Received 21 March 2012; Accepted 9 April 2012

Academic Editors: K. Gee, L. Gray, and C. Petrovas

Copyright © 2012 Louis-Jacques van Bogaert. 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.


Background. The prevalence of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), an AIDS-defining illness, has increased in parallel with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The presence of violaceous skin lesions should raise suspicion of KS. However, especially on dark skin, KS mimics a variety of non-KS skin conditions. Histologically, there is a wide range of expressions of KS and a large number of mimickers. For all these reasons, a HHV-8 immunohistochemically biopsy-proven diagnosis of KS should be the gold standard. Methods. Prospective study of 490 consecutive skin biopsies from the general community in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, from April 2010 through December 2011. Results. The clinical discordance rate (over-/underdiagnosis of KS) was 30.5%; the histological discordance rate was 9.2%. Conclusion. Because of the magnitude of diagnostic error, both clinical and histological, all clinical lesions suspicious of KS should be biopsied and HHV-8 LAN-1 immunophenotyped.