Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) is an angioproliferative tumor associated with human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8). Often known as one of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining skin diseases, pulmonary involvement in KS has only been discussed in a handful of case reports, rarely in a non-HIV patient. Herein we report the case of a 77 year-old- male who presented with a 6-week history of progressive dyspnea on exertion accompanied by productive cough of yellow sputum and intermittent hemoptysis. His past medical history was significant for Non-Hodgkin's Follicular B-Cell Lymphoma (NHL). Patient also had biopsy-confirmed cutaneous KS. His physical exam was notable for a 2cm firm, non-tender, mobile right submandibular lymph node. Lungs were clear to auscultation. He had multiple violet non-tender skin lesions localized to the lower extremities. CT scan of the chest showed numerous nodular opacities and small pleural effusions in both lungs. A thoracenthesis was performed, showing sero-sanguineous exudative effusions. Histopathology failed to demonstrate malignant cells or lymphoma. A subsequent bronchoscopy revealed diffusely hyperemic, swollen mucosa of the lower airways with mucopurulent secretions. Bronchoalveolar lavage PCR for HHV-8 showed 5800 DNA copies/mL. It was believed that his pulmonary symptoms were likely due to disseminated KS. This case illustrates the potential for significant lung injury from KS. It also demonstrates the use of PCR for HHV-8 to diagnose KS in a bronchoalveolar lavage sample in a case when bronchoscopic biopsy was not safe. Furthermore, this case is unique in that the patient did not match the typical KS subgroups as HIV infection and other immune disorders were ruled out. Recognition of this syndrome is critical to the institution of appropriate therapy. As such, this case should be of interest to a broad readership across internal medicine including the specialties of Pulmonology and Critical Care.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health
Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine