AIMS: Bacillary angiomatosis is a rare pseudoneoplastic angioproliferative lesion occurring in patients with AIDS. This condition has been associated with Bartonella henselae and Bartonella quintana infections. Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is thought to be the causative agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, a vasoproliferative neoplasm, also commonly found in patients with AIDS. The presence of HHV-8 in a cohort of patients with bacillary angiomatosis was investigated. METHODS: Eight cutaneous cases of biopsy confirmed bacillary angiomatosis were assessed for HHV-8 using standard solution phase polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: No case of bacillary angiomatosis harboured HHV-8 DNA. CONCLUSIONS: HHV-8 was not demonstrated in the lesions of bacillary angiomatosis and therefore does not appear to play a role in the pathogenesis of this pseudoneoplastic angioproliferative disorder. This finding might be useful in the distinction of bacillary angiomatosis from Kaposi's sarcoma, because lesions from patients with Kaposi's sarcoma almost always contains HHV-8 DNA.
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