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Neurol Sci. 2000 Jun;21(3):135-42.

Age-dependent neurologic manifestations of HIV infection in childhood.

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Department of Neuropediatrics, National Neurological Institute C. Besta, Milan, Italy.


Although the neurologic complications of HIV- 1 infection during the first two years of life have been defined, the neurologic features in older children are not so well described. The present report is focused on the age-dependent neurologic presentation of HIV-1 infection. Sixty-two vertically HIV-1 infected children underwent detailed serial evaluations: neurologic assessment, neuropsychological tests, neuroimaging studies, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Neurologic involvement was found in 30 patients (48.3%). This population was divided into two groups, exhibiting progressive (83.3%) or nonprogressive (16.6%) neurologic signs and symptoms. In the first group of patients, progressive encephalopathy was distinguished from spastic paraparesis, possibly due to spinal cord involvement. The second group, represented by long-term survivors, requires clinical monitoring due to the possible prognostic value of acquired but presently nonprogressive signs of brain involvement. In contrast with the stereotyped features of the early form of progressive encephalopathy, the late form showed a polymorphic picture, with age-dependent neurologic manifestations. Multifocal white matter alterations and cerebral calcifications (sometimes with delayed onset and progression) were the prominent imaging findings. A correlation between cerebrospinal fluid HIV RNA levels, suggestive of viral replication within the central nervous system, and progressive neurological disease were also found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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