What is the role of imaging studies 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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Computed tomography (CT) may be valuable, especially abdominal CT scans in patients with AIDS. [56] In AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma, early lymphatic and hepatosplenic involvement may be evident. Consider CT-directed fine needle aspiration to provide tissue confirmation, since lymphomas and atypical mycobacterial and other infections may appear similar.

Consider endoscopic and conventional radiographic studies; however, these modalities may miss gastrointestinal Kaposi sarcoma, while selective angiography may demonstrate Kaposi sarcoma.

Radionucleotide scans may be useful in demonstrating visceral Kaposi sarcoma and associated lymphoma.

With lung nodules, the distinction between Kaposi sarcoma, lymphoma, and/or opportunistic infection may be challenging.

In both adults and children with pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma, chest radiography shows perihilar and lower zone involvement. [57] Pleural effusions appear to be more common on radiographs in children.

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