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Neurosurgery. 1992 Feb;30(2):186-9; discussion 189-90.

The efficacy of image-guided stereotactic brain biopsy in neurologically symptomatic acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery), Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois.


A prospective series of 50 neurologically symptomatic human immunodeficiency infected patients with intracranial lesions who underwent image-guided stereotactic brain biopsy is presented. Patients were diagnosed with primary central nervous system lymphoma (14 patients), progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (14 patients), toxoplasmosis (13 patients), human immunodeficiency virus encephalitis (3 patients), infarction (2 patients), and 1 patient each with metastatic adenocarcinoma, metastatic melanoma, cryptococcoma, and atypical mycobacterial infection. Two of the patients with toxoplasmosis had a second intracranial abnormality. Two biopsies resulted in either descriptive diagnosis only or were nondiagnostic; the definitive diagnostic efficacy of image-guided stereotactic biopsy was thus 96%. No deaths were incurred as a result of biopsy. Four intraoperative or postoperative hemorrhages occurred; in only 1 patient was there a residual neurological deficit related to the surgery. Image-guided stereotactic biopsy may thus be considered both safe and effective in this patient population.

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