Cutaneous Vascular Anomalies – Kaposi Sarcoma
Kaposi Sarcoma is a malignant cutaneous vascular anomaly that I occasionally encounter in both my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices. Kaposi Sarcoma can be divided into 5 subtypes: Classic Kaposi Sarcoma, African Cutaneous Kaposi Sarcoma, African Lymphadenopathic Sarcoma, AIDS Associated Kaposi Sarcoma, and Immunosuppressed Kaposi Sarcoma. Classic Kaposi Sarcoma is most commonly found on the lower extremities in middle aged men and appears clinically as red/purple nodules. The condition slowly progresses and the lower extremities may enlarge due to lymphedema. African Cutaneous Kaposi Sarcoma is most often found in younger men and is endemic to Africa that is very aggressive locally but rarely spreads throughout the body. African Lymphadenopathic Kaposi Sarcoma is a very aggressive condition that occurs in children from Africa under the age of 10. AIDS Associated Kaposi Sarcoma typically occurs on the head and neck as red nodules in patients with AIDS. Immunosuppressed Kaposi Sarcoma occurs in patients who are immunosuppressed for reasons other than HIV and the clinical disease resembles Classic Kaposi Sarcoma but the lesions can occur anywhere on the body. The most frequent site of internal involvement for Kaposi Sarcoma is the gastrointestinal tract. All types of Kaposi Sarcoma are typically sensitive to radiation treatment. Other treatment options include chemotherapy, treating the underlying cause such as immunosuppression, cryosurgery, and excision.