Regression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related pulmonary Kaposi's sarcoma after highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Aboulafia DM.

Mayo Clin Proc. 1998 May;73(5):439-43. doi: 10.1016/S0025-6196(11)63726-9.

Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is the most common neoplasm affecting people with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The skin is the most common site of disease; however, KS can also involve visceral organs such as the lungs, leading to severe morbidity and contributing to death in almost 30% of patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). New antiretroviral strategies incorporating combination nucleoside analogues with a protease inhibitor lead to increased circulating CD4+ lymphocyte counts, decreased plasma levels of HIV, and decreased mortality from AIDS-defining opportunistic infections. The effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on AIDS-associated KS remain largely unknown. Herein the case of an antiretroviral-naive man with advanced AIDS (CD4+ helper T-lymphocyte count, 35/mm3; HIV viral RNA quantification, more than 800,000 copies/mL), and symptomatic pulmonary KS is described. After HAART was initiated, his CD4+ cell count increased fourfold, his HIV-viral load decreased to nondetectable levels, and the pulmonary KS regressed dramatically. To my knowledge, this report represents the first documented case of pulmonary KS regression after the initiation of HAART. Although this finding is preliminary, if confirmed by other clinicians, the effect of potent antiretrovirals on KS growth and development will have important implications on the manner in which KS is staged and treated.

PMID: 9581584

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.