Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
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        HHV-8 test, blood
Human Herpesvirus 8 antibody, serum

This is a DNA virus in the Herpes group. About 50% of HIV-infected patients with this virus infection will develop Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a skin malignancy of small blood vessels which has been known for centuries in Africa and countries around the Mediterranean Sea. In the USA, the virus reservoir is mostly in the homosexual population. The population serological positivity prevalence is about 3.5% in the USA...much higher in sub-Saharan Africa and around the Mediterranean4. And, like EBV and mononucleosis, is thought to be spreadable by saliva-heavy "deep [French] kissing". [warning] [LMC-05-6145]

Negative, Non-Reactive, Undetectable Status:

  • is the normal situation.

  • IHC negative in lymphomatoid papulosis, PLEVA, and pityriasis rosea2

Causes of Increased Values/Levels:
  • seropositive persons who otherwise appear to be disease free.
  • molecular methods can detect such as PCR can be so sensitive that they detect "bystander virus" or HHV8 sequences in peripheral blood monocytes in HIV-infected patients as well as uninfected patients with KS4
  • Kaposi's Sarcoma cases: serum & PCR & IHC1 (latent nuclear antigen 1) all positive, IHC as granular nuclear pattern (latent nuclear antigen...LNA-14) in malignant nuclei.
  • body-cavity based, primary-effusion lymphoma (PEL); usually a late-maturity-marker positive B-cell; can be T-cell3 [we tested by IHC on nodes & lung nodule on case L-05-6145...negative].
  • multicentric Castlemann's2.
Test Synonyms

Other names for this exact or approximate agent are:   

  • HHV-8


  1. Page RN, et. al., HHV8 in Skin Disease: An Immunoperoxidase Analysis, The J. of Histotechnology 28(2):67-70, June 2005.
  2. Will Armstrong 7/21/05.
  3. Arch. Path. & Lab. Med. 125(9):1246-1248, 9/2001.
  4. Letters, Pantanowitz, et. al., & Patel, et. al., Modern Pathology 18(8):1148-1149, August 2005.

(posted 2002; latest addition 11 August 2005)

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