DANA H. GABUZDA, M.D.; MARTIN S. HIRSCH, M.D.
Subacute encephalitis caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of the central nervous system is the most frequent cause of neurologic dysfunction in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This disorder results in progressive cognitive, motor, and behavioral abnormalities in at least two thirds of patients with AIDS. Pathologic evidence of subacute encephalitis is found in 90% of these patients at autopsy. Human immunodeficiency virus is also the etiologic agent in aseptic meningitis, a disease that can occur at the time of seroconversion. Other neurologic disorders frequently associated with HIV include peripheral neuropathies and vacuolar myelopathy. Thus, HIV is neurotropic and may enter the central nervous system early in the course of infection. Neurologic disease may be the only clinical manifestation of HIV infection. Although mechanisms of pathogenesis are unclear, cells of monocyte-macrophage lineage may be important in viral spread to and within the central nervous system. Effective antiviral therapy will probably require penetration of drugs across the bloodbrain barrier.
GABUZDA DH, HIRSCH MS. Neurologic Manifestations of Infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Clinical Features and Pathogenesis. Ann Intern Med. ;107:383–391. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-107-2-383
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;107(3):383-391.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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