The early years of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic introduced the global medical community to Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), a heretofore seldom encountered angiosarcomatous neoplasm associated with human herpesvirus-8. At that time, clinicians treating these KS patients were routinely exposed to the pulmonary manifestations of this malignancy, including characteristic airway lesions, peribronchovascular opacities, and the typically hemorrhagic pleural effusions. They also witnessed uncommon complications of pulmonary KS such as chylous effusions, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. Since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy, the incidence of KS has steadily declined and with that so has clinician familiarity with this disease. Herein, we present four KS cases recently encountered at our institution that illustrate both typical manifestations of pulmonary KS as well as its thoracic complications. The case descriptions are followed by a review of these clinical entities with the aim of restoring awareness among frontline physicians of what is now a rare but not quite extinct AIDS-defining neoplasm.
- Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage
- Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome
- Kaposi’s sarcoma