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J Infect Dis. 1992 Dec;166(6):1412-5.

Diagnosis of human cytomegalovirus central nervous system disease in AIDS patients by DNA amplification from cerebrospinal fluid.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego 92093.


The utility of amplification of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for the diagnosis of HCMV central nervous system (CNS) disease in AIDS patients was studied. CSF specimens from 30 patients with neurologic dysfunction were assayed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and the results were correlated with histopathologic findings, CSF culture, and clinical manifestations. PCR was positive in all 11 patients who had histopathologic evidence of HCMV CNS disease, including 4 who were CSF culture-negative. Three patients with HCMV polyradiculopathy had CSF positive by PCR. Nine patients negative for HCMV by neuropathologic study and an additional 7 patients with HCMV-unrelated clinical diagnosis were all CSF PCR-negative, despite concomitant systemic HCMV infection in 7. In addition, 24 asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals were CSF PCR-negative. CSF PCR appears to be a sensitive and specific diagnostic method for detection of HCMV CNS disease in AIDS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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