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J Neurovirol. 2002 Dec;8 Suppl 2:33-41.

Selected peripheral neuropathies associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection and antiretroviral therapy.

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  • Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Neuro-AIDS Research Program, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA. david.simpson@mssm.edu


A variety of peripheral neuropathies are associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Although the incidence of certain forms of neuropathy is increased in HIV infection, in other cases, the association may be fortuitous. Different forms of peripheral neuropathy occur with increased frequency at particular stages of HIV disease. For example, inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (IDP) is often the first manifestation of HIV disease, when CD4 lymphocyte counts are relatively high. As immunosuppression progresses and HIV viral load becomes uncontrolled, the incidence of distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSP) increases. In advanced stages of HIV disease (CD4 count <50 cells/mm(3)), patients may develop opportunistic cytomegalovirus (CMV) nerve infection, which can present as progressive polyradiculopathy (PP) or mononeuropathy multiplex (MM). In addition to the neuromuscular disorders caused by HIV and its concomitant immunosuppression, the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and other therapeutic agents in HIV disease is frequently limited by neuromuscular side effects. This paper will review the symmetrical forms of polyneuropathy that occur in association with HIV infection and nucleoside analogue therapy. The clinical, electrophysiologic, and pathologic features of these disorders will be described along with a discussion of theories of pathogenesis and results of treatment to date.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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