Neurologic Abnormalities in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La 

South Med J. 2001;94(3) 

In This Article


Cytomegalovirus may cause abnormalities in the brain (necrotizing encephalitis, ventriculitis, vasculitis), spinal cord (myelitis), and nerve root (radiculitis). All patients infected with HIV should have a screening retinal examination to detect retinitis. Clinical CMV infection occurs in patients with high viral loads and CD4 counts of less than 50. Cytomegalovirus may be recovered from extraneural sites but not from CSF. Antibody tests are not usually positive for CMV in immunodeficient patients, but PCR may establish the diagnosis. With effective treatment (ganciclovir) and prophylaxis, CMV rarely is seen.[56,57]


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