What is the role of lab tests in the workup of cutaneous Kaposi sarcoma (KS)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Serum glucose levels may reflect an increased incidence of diabetes mellitus in patients with classic Kaposi sarcoma (KS). Ketoacidosis is unusual in these patients.

Immunohistochemical detection of human herpes virus-8 latent nuclear antigen-1 has been claimed as useful in the diagnosis of Kaposi sarcoma. [55]

Hemogram in nonimmunosuppressed patients with Kaposi sarcoma tends to be within normal limits, but occasionally, monocytosis or eosinophilia has been noted. Eosinophilia is seen especially in African patients and patients who are homosexual, in whom parasitosis may be common.

In KS-AIDS, cytopenia of 1 or more cell lines is frequent.

Anemia, if present, may result from gastrointestinal bleeding or may be associated with an autoimmune hemolytic anemia or a hematologic malignancy.

Assays for HHV-8 have been challenging. At present, no universally accepted method exists.

Polymerase chain reaction often is used but may have false-positive results because of its high susceptibility to contamination.

Methods based on both lytic and latent-phase viral antigens remain promising.

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