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Disseminated Kaposi's Sarcoma in Homosexual Men

ALVlN E. FRIEDMAN-KIEN, M.D.; LINDA J. LAUBENSTEIN, M.D.; PABLO RUBINSTEIN, M.D.; ELENA BUIMOVICI-KLEIN, M.D.; MICHAEL MARMOR, Ph.D.; ROSALYN STAHL, M.D.; ILYA SPIGLAND, M.D.; KWANG SOO KIM, Ph.D.; and SUSAN ZOLLA-PAZNER, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part from grant CA 16087, CA 16247, CA 15585, CA 13343, ES 00260, and AI 01431 from the National Institutes of Health, RD-150 from the American Cancer Society, and funds from the Veterans Administration.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Alvin E. Friedman-Kien, M.D.; New York University Medical Center, 530 First Avenue; New York, NY 10016.


New York, New York


Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(6_part_1):693-700. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-6-693
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Nineteen cases from an epidemic of disseminated Kaposi's sarcoma in homosexual men were studied by clinical, virologic, immunologic, and genetic methods. The patients were all male homosexuals ranging in age from 29 to 52 years, with histories of multiple sexually transmitted diseases and exposure to both prescription and recreational drugs. Sites of disease included skin (16 of 19 patients), lymph nodes (13 patients), gastrointestinal tract (12 patients), spleen (three patients), and lung (one patient). Most patients had elevated levels of serum immunoglobins, positive antibody titers to hepatitis A and B virus, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus, and impairment of cell-mediated immunologic reactions. The frequency of HLA-DR5 in these patients was significantly elevated. Two of the 19 patients died. Although the precise cause of this epidemic is unknown, it is likely that a genetic predisposition, an acquired immunoregulatory defect, and one or more infectious agents and drugs may be involved.

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