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Dermatology Online Journal

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Kaposi Sarcoma of the eyelid as an initial manifestation of AIDS


Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a multifocal systemic disease that originates in the vascular endothelium related to Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8). In the early 1980s the first series of cases of disseminated Kaposi Sarcoma in HIV infected patients were reported. However, with the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) since 1997, these cases are less frequently observed by clinicians. We report the case of a 40-year-old woman, presenting with two asymptomatic purpuric nodules localized in the superior and inferior left eyelids, occluding the palpebral fissure, which were present for 4 months prior to presentation. The eyelid nodules were determined to represent KS, but there were no additional cutaneous lesions. Pulmonary and gastric KS involvement was documented. Antiretroviral therapy was initiated along with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. The nodules gradually disappeared and her immune status eventually improved. Ocular and periorbital involvement of KS associated with HIV-1 infection as the initial clinical manifestations is a rare advent. This case is important as it illustrates that disseminated KS was not to be predicted by the number or the extension of cutaneous lesions.

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