Clinical features of Kaposi's sarcoma: experience from a Taiwanese medical center

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BackgroundMost of the previous reports regarding the clinical features of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) have been performed in Western and African countries. The clinical characteristics of KS have not been well defined in Han Chinese or Taiwanese patients. In this study, we analyzed the clinical features of KS patients in a Taiwanese medical center.MethodsMedical records from Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital over the past 20 years (1996–2016) were comprehensively reviewed.ResultsThere were 55 patients with KS (50 males and 5 females), including 37 patients (67%) with classic disease, 17 patients (31%) with AIDS-associated disease, and one patient (2%) with immunosuppressive medication-related disease. The average age was 58.7 years (range 20–87 years), and the average age was younger for AIDS patients (33.8 years) compared with non-AIDS patients (69.8 years). Among patients with classic KS, lesions were mostly localized to the lower extremities, whereas AIDS-associated KS patients were more likely to develop disseminated skin lesions, skin lesions on atypical sites (head and neck, trunk), and extracutaneous involvement (particularly oral cavity). The most common underlying diseases were diabetes mellitus (20% of patients) and hepatitis B (15% patients), and 38% of KS patients were smokers. Patients with AIDS-associated KS usually responded well to chemotherapy, whereas only 32% of patients with non-AIDS-associated KS showed complete response to radiotherapy.ConclusionsThe findings of the current study will serve as important references for clinicians in the diagnosis of KS and may form the basis for the implementation of KS clinical practice guidelines in Taiwan.

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