What is the preferred staging system for Kaposi sarcoma (KS)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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In 1984, the authors originally proposed and currently prefer the following classification system (including new recommended modifications):

  • Stage I represents localized nodular Kaposi sarcoma, with more than 15 cutaneous lesions or involvement restricted to 1 bilateral anatomic site, and few, if any, gut nodules.

  • Stage II includes both exophytic destructive lesions and locally infiltrative cutaneous lesions as locally aggressive Kaposi sarcoma.

  • Stage III (generalized lymphadenopathic Kaposi sarcoma) has widespread lymph node involvement, with or without skin lesions, but with no visceral involvement.

  • Stage IV (disseminated visceral Kaposi sarcoma) has widespread Kaposi sarcoma, usually progressing from Stage II or Stage III, with involvement of multiple visceral organs.

The authors modify each stage as follows:

  • A: Associated opportunistic infection(s) is evident.

  • B: Patient is HIV-I seropositive.

  • C: Cutaneous anergy or other evidence of severe immunodeficiency is present.

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