Quiz 2

A 51 year old man attends a clinic with cellulitis. He has a history of psoriasis but hasn’t had any active psoriatic lesions for over 10 years. Whilst you are examining him and assessing the cellulitis, you notice numerous dark/purple growths on his foot. Several of them appear almost verruca-like. They are not painful, and are present on both sides of the feet. The man states they have been present for about a year. There are no signs of psoriasis on examination.

  1. What is the diagnosis?
  2. What further tests are required?

Answers and discussion will be posted in a couple of weeks….



  1. The lesions are typical of Kaposi’s sarcoma.
  2. Both the Kaposi’s and the cellulitis may be suggestive of an HIV infection. He needs an HIV test.


Warty growths can be seen in many skin conditions, including viral warts, seborrheic keratosis, squamous cell carcinomas, and Kaposi’s. Raised dark/purple lesions may be seen in lichen planus, cutaneous sarcoid, mycobacterial infection and Kaposi’s. So the 2 features together make Kaposi’s the most likely diagnosis.

The most important part of treating Kaposi’s is ART, and often lesions will get smaller as the CD4 count improves. In some cases, this may be the only treatment needed for Kaposi’s.  However, if there are other symptoms such as pain or swelling, then other treatments may benefit. If there are only a few small lesions, then topical retinoids (benzyl peroxide) may help. The other option if lesions are very painful, or if lesions are problematic in the mouth or anus, is a referral for radiotherapy (depending on availability). Chemotherpay can also be considered for the most severe/numerous/symptomatic lesions, but again this would depend very much on local availability.

Kaposi’s may look different on African skin, so here are a few examples



Medical quiz 1.

This is the first in a series of monthly quizzes to get both C.O and volunteer drs thinking. This is based on a real life patient I treated.

Feel free to post your comments.

Answers in 2 weeks.

Quiz 1.

73 year old patient with a long term history of osteoporosis and spinal stenosis presents with worsening pelvis pain and difficulty walking. She has no history of trauma.

Regular medications:

Paracetamol and codeine for pain

Alendronic acid and calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis

O/E she is tender on palpation of her pelvis and walk with an antalgic gait (painful walk).

I refer her for an X-ray


What does the X ray show?

Blood tests are vitamin D 76 (>50 normal), Ca 2.8 (2.2-2.6) and PTH 13.4 (1.6-7.2)

What is her diagnosis?

Is this primary or secondary?

What is the commonest cause and how do you treat it?

What are the complications of this treatment?

If this treatment isn’t available how can you manage the patient?