Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma: clinicopathological characteristics of 8 cases of a rare vascular tumor and review of literature

Qurratulain Chundriger, Muhammad Usman Tariq, Jamshid Abdul-Ghafar, Arsalan Ahmed, Nasir Ud Din

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma (KHE) is a rare vascular tumor of intermediate malignant potential which shows locally aggressive growth but only rarely metastasizes. It is mostly considered to be a tumor of pediatric population but its occurrence in the adults is not uncommon as once considered. Histologically, KHE can mimic other soft tissue neoplasms of different behaviors (e.g. Kaposi Sarcoma, hemangioma) and establishing the correct diagnosis is important for appropriate treatment. Herein, we describe the clinicopathological features of 8 cases of KHE which will be helpful in making their diagnosis. Methods: We reviewed pathology reports, microscopy glass slides and obtained follow up information about 8 cases of KHE which were diagnosed at our institution from January 2008 till June 2020. Immunohistochemical stain for HHV8 was also performed. Results: Age ranged from 7 months to 25 years. Seven patients were less than 20 years of age and one patient was 25 years old. Equal gender distribution was observed. Extremities were the most common sites of involvement, followed by head and neck, pancreas and ischiorectal region. 2 cases were resection specimen and all others were incisional biopsies. The largest tumor size was 5.5 cm in one of the resections. The incisional/fragmented tissues were all less than 5 cm in aggregate. Most cases showed predominance of nodular growth and a minor component of spindle cell population along with lymphangiomatosis like vascular channels, with evidence of microthrombi in 2 cases. Few multinucleated giant cells were observed in 2 cases. None of the cases exhibited significant nuclear atypia or mitotic activity. One of the cases arising in dermis showed underlying bone involvement. HHV8 was negative in 7/7 cases. Conclusions: KHE can also involve adult population and it should always be considered in the differential diagnoses of a vascular lesion. Presence of multinucleated giant cells is a rare finding. Knowledge about histological features and potential mimics is helpful in avoiding misdiagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalDiagnostic Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • HHV8
  • Hemangioma
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma


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