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Histopathological analysis of vesicular and bullous lesions in Kaposi sarcoma

Nilüfer Onak Kandemir1*, Figen Barut1, Banu Doğan Gün1, Nilgün Solak Tekin2, Sevinç Hallaç Keser3 and Şükrü Oğuz Özdamar1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Karaelmas University, Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak, Turkey

2 Department of Dermathology, Karaelmas University, Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak, Turkey

3 Department of Pathology, Lütfi Kirdar Kartal Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:101  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-101

Published: 15 August 2012



In this study, the clinical and morphological features of vesiculobullous lesions observed in Kaposi sarcoma are analyzed, and the features of bullous Kaposi sarcoma cases are emphasized.


A total of 178 biopsy materials of 75 cases diagnosed as classic-type cutaneous Kaposi sarcoma were reviewed. Twenty-five cases showing vesiculobullous features were included in the study. Tumor, epidermis, dermis, and clinical data regarding these cases was evaluated.


Vesicular changes were observed in 21 (12%) out of 178 lesions of the 75 cases, while bullous changes were present in only 4 (2%). In all cases where vesicular and bullous changes were detected, tumor, epidermis, and dermis changes were similar. All cases were nodular stage KS lesions, whereas hyperkeratosis and serum exudation in the epidermis, marked edema in the dermis, and enlarged lymphatic vessels and chronic inflammatory response were observed.


Our findings suggest that changes in vascular resistance occurring during tumor progression are the most important factors comprising vesiculobullous morphology.

Virtual slides

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Kaposi sarcoma; Bullous Kaposi sarcoma; Histological variants; Lymphangioma-like Kaposi sarcoma