Incidence and management of Kaposi sarcoma in renal transplant recipients: the Greek experience.

Conference Paper


One of the most common malignancies in kidney transplant recipients is Kaposi sarcoma. The incidence of Kaposi sarcoma, which develops after renal transplantation, is 400-500 times higher than that in the general population. The aims of this study were to review the experience with Kaposi sarcoma in the highest-volume transplantation Unit in Greece and to analyze clinical characteristics and response to treatment, with respect to both the patients' survival and the renal graft function.

Materials and methods

The records of 2008 renal graft recipients between March 1983 and December 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Kaposi sarcoma was diagnosed based on clinical, laboratory, radiological, endoscopic, and histopathologic examinations. The disease was staged according to the classification of Al-Khader et al.


The prevalence of Kaposi sarcoma was 1.2% in our renal transplant population. Of these, 1006 recipients underwent living-donor renal transplantation, whereas 1002 received their graft from deceased donors. Post-transplantation malignancy developed in 153 patients, among which, Kaposi sarcoma has been found in 24 cases. Of the 24 cases of Kaposi sarcoma, lesions were mainly cutaneous in 14 cases, visceral and cutaneous in 8, and concomitant visceral and lymph node involvement was observed in 2 patients. With regard to the final outcome, 20 patients (83.3%) showed remission of the disease, whereas 4 patients with visceral involvement (16.6%) did not respond to chemotherapy and discontinuation of immunosuppression and died. Moreover, 8 deaths occurred due to apparently unrelated causes.


Kaposi sarcoma is an important part (15.7%) of all post-transplantation neoplasias in our series. Furthermore, our findings confirmed the previously described close association between human herpesvirus-8 and post-transplantation Kaposi sarcoma. Reduction of immunosuppression or discontinuation of calcineurin inhibitors results in remission of the disease in most of the cases. Prognosis in patients with Kaposi sarcoma limited to the skin is favorable, whereas visceral involvement is associated with high mortality.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zavos, G; Moris, D; Vernadakis, S; Bokos, J; Lionaki, S; Mamarelis, G; Panagiotellis, K; Zavvos, V; Boletis, I

Published Date

  • November 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 3199 - 3202

PubMed ID

  • 25420858

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2623

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0041-1345

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.09.165