Recent molecular evidence suggests an association with a new herpes virus, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV/HHV-8), and primary effusion lymphomas (PEL). PELs have a characteristic morphology, phenotype, and clinical presentation with malignant effusions in the absence of a contiguous solid tumor mass. Most cases of PEL have occurred in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive male patients who are coinfected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This report describes two cases of PEL in HIV- and EBV-negative women. In one patient, a pleural cavity PEL was preceded by classic Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) of the lower extremities. In the second patient, PEL developed in an artificial cavity related to the capsule of a breast implant. Both cases had the characteristic morphologic appearance of high-grade anaplastic/B-cell immunoblastic lymphomas, with loss of B-cell differentiation antigens, clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements, and expression of activation antigen CD30. Both cases were negative for EBV, herpes virus simplex, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). DNA extracted from both lymphomas and skin KS specimen showed KSHV sequences by molecular analysis. This report expands the spectrum of KSHV-associated disease to include PEL in HIV-negative women.

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