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Immunostaining for Human Herpesvirus 8 Latent Nuclear Antigen-1 Helps Distinguish Kaposi Sarcoma From Its Mimickers

Wah Cheuk MD, Kathy O.Y. Wong, Cesar S.C. Wong PhD, J.E. Dinkel MD, David Ben-Dor MD, John K.C. Chan MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/B8TC0LBVH8XY5MFV 335-342 First published online: 1 March 2004


We assessed the usefulness of a mouse monoclonal antibody (13B10) against human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) latent nuclear antigen-1 (LNA-1) in diagnosis of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and for distinguishing it from various mimickers by studying 50 cases of KS and 53 mimickers (angiosarcoma, 15; kaposiform hemangioendothelioma, 6; spindle cell hemangioma, 3; reactive angioendotheliomatosis, 3; bacillary angiomatosis, 4; acroangiomatous dermatitis, 2; microvenular hemangioma, 2; hobnail hemangioma, 2; pyogenic granuloma, 5; dermatofibroma, 8; arteriovenous hemangioma, 1; verrucous hemangioma, 1; nonspecific vascular proliferation, 1) from patients with or without acquired HIV infection. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections. All 50 cases of KS were positive for HHV-8 LNA-1, with immunolocalization in the nuclei of the spindle cells and cells lining the primitive and thin-walled vascular channels, whereas all 53 mimickers (including 4 lesions from HIV-positive patients) tested negative. The results indicate that positive immunostaining for HHV-8 LNA-1 exhibits high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of KS and is, thus, useful for distinguishing it from the mimickers.

Key Words:
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Latent nuclear antigen-1
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Angiosarcoma