To evaluate various immunologic markers in the peripheral blood of patients with early and advanced classic Kaposi’s sarcoma (CKS).
A major referral center for skin and venereal diseases.
Sixty-eight patients with histologically confirmed CKS staged according to a modified version of the Mitsuyasu-Groopman classification in stage I-II (cutaneous involvement only) and stage IV (skin and systemic involvement).
Main Outcome Measures
Concentrations of neopterin and β2-microglobulin, titer of anti–human herpesvirus 8 antibodies, number of natural killer cells, and numbers of total lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, and their subsets in peripheral blood.
The median values of β2-microglobulin and neopterin were elevated in patients with CKS in stage IV (median, 3.679 μg/mL [312.72 nmol/L] and 14.0 nmol/L, respectively) compared with patients in stage I-II (median, 2.406 μg/mL [204.51 nmol/L] and 6.5 nmol/L, respectively). A statistically significant reduction in total lymphocyte and B-lymphocyte counts was observed in patients with advanced-stage CKS (1679/μL and 79/μL, respectively) compared with patients in earlier stages of the disease (2142/μL and 224/μL, respectively). The human herpesvirus 8 antibody titer, determined by latent immunofluorescent assay, decreased from stage I-II to stage IV, although not at a statistically significant level (P = .14).
The evolution of CKS from the early stages of the disease to the more advanced may be associated with a partial activation of the immune system and a gradual decrease in the number of total and B lymphocytes.