Kaposi sarcoma: changing trend in Calabar, south eastern Nigeria

M E Asuquo, A Ogunkeyede, E E Bassey, G Ebughe
Annals of African Medicine 2008, 7 (3): 98-101

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is now the most frequently reported malignant skin tumour in some areas of Africa and was endemic in Africa before the advent of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The prevalence has increased with the emergence of HIV infection. The objective of this report is to describe the frequency, current clinical pattern, and anatomic distribution of KS in Calabar, south-eastern Nigeria and compare this with total malignant skin tumour.

METHOD: All the patients with histologic diagnosis of KS presenting to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital from January 2005 and December 2006 were analyzed as part of the wider study of malignant skin tumorus. Diagnosis of HIV was based upon enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: In our study, there were 11 patients (7 males and 4 females), with a male: female ratio of 1.75:1. This was the commonest malignant skin tumor (38%) followed by squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (34.5%) and the age ranged from 21-60 years (mean 42.9 years). Nine patients (81.8%) were HIV positive including the 4 females (age ranged from 21-45 years) and 2 (18.2%) HIV negative, aged 59 and 60 years. The lower limb was the commonest site (50%). Atypical lesions involved the eyelids/nose and penis.

CONCLUSION: KS is now the commonest malignant skin tumour in our region with the HIV related KS as the commonest clinical type. Successful prevention and treatment of HIV infection would reduce the prevalence of this tumour.

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