Clinicopathologic correlation of kaposi sarcoma involving the ocular adnexa: Immunophenotyping of diagnostic and therapeutic targets

Jan P. Ulloa-Padilla, Mark P. Ghassibi, Sander R. Dubovy, Darcy A. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the clinicopathologic characteristics and the expression of diagnostic/treatment targets in ocular adnexal Kaposi Sarcoma. Methods: We conducted a clinical-pathologic retrospective case series. Immunohistochemical staining for cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31), human herpesvirus-8 (HHV8), platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFR-A), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGF), tyrosineprotein kinase Kit (c-Kit), and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) were performed. Percentage of positive tumor cells was recorded for PD-1; staining intensity and distribution (H-score) were determined for the remaining stains. A Friedman nonparametric ANOVA analysis evaluated the staining. Results: The study cohort included 13 patients (age 25 to 95 years; mean 46): 7 lesions were in the eyelid, 5 in the conjunctiva, and 1 in the cornea. Nine of 11 lesions (82%) were in human immunodeficiency syndrome-positive patients (human immunodeficiency syndrome status was unknown in 2 cases). Staging included 6 plaques and 7 nodules. The mean H-scores of CD31, HHV8, c-Kit, VEGF, and PDGF-A were 8.00, 8.23, 2.77, 11.54, and 10.31, respectively. Mean PD-1 staining was 6.46%. The Friedman non-parametric ANOVA analysis showed VEGF, PDGF-A, CD31, and HHV8 differed significantly, and all differed significantly from c-Kit. Programmed cell death protein 1 staining was not significant with any clinical variable. Conclusions: Cluster of differentiation 31 and HHV8 are helpful diagnostic adjuncts for ocular adnexal Kaposi Sarcoma. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha and VEGF are promising treatment targets. Programmed cell death protein 1/PD-L1 and c-Kit are targets that are useful in several tumors; their roles in ocular adnexal Kaposi Sarcoma warrant further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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