Background: The role of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in the development of malignant lymphomas in patients negative for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has not been established.
Objective: To examine the possible role of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in a case of body cavity-based malignant lymphoma that occurred in an HIV-negative patient who had previously had Kaposi sarcoma.
Design: Case study.
Setting: Academic medical center.
Patient: A 94-year-old man with lymphomatous ascites.
Measurements: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot DNA analysis.
Results: The body cavity-based lymphoma cells were positive for Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus by PCR and were negative for other herpesviruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and human herpesviruses 6 and 7. Southern blot analysis of lymphoma DNA showed high levels of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (>40 to 80 genomes/cell). Clonal rearrangement of the immunoglobulin JH and JK genes was present, confirming the presence of a clonal B-cell proliferation.
Conclusions: Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus may be involved in the development of malignant lymphoma after Kaposi sarcoma in HIV-negative patients. This type of lymphoma, in contrast to body cavity-based lymphoma related to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, may have an indolent clinical course.