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Papers And Short Reports

Upper gastrointestinal Kaposi's sarcoma in patients positive for HIV antibody without cutaneous disease

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 09 January 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:92
  1. I G Barrison,
  2. S Foster,
  3. J W Harris,
  4. A J Pinching,
  5. J G Walker


    Six patients with antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and with persistent gastrointestinal symptoms of HIV infection but without cutaneous lesions of Kaposi's sarcoma underwent endoscopy. Four also underwent barium meal examination. In all six cases small lesions were seen in the stomach at endoscopy, and histological examination of biopsy specimens taken from the lesions confirmed the diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma. The barium meal examinations were reported as normal in three patients and showed oesophageal candidiasis in the fourth.

    These findings suggest that Kaposi's sarcoma of the upper gastrointestinal tract is common in patients positive for HIV antibody, even those without cutaneous lesions. Endoscopy, with biopsy of suspicious lesions, is necessary to make the diagnosis and is recommended in all HIV antibody positive patients with persistent upper gastrointestinal symptoms.