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Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2011 Jun;13(6):428-30. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Khorasan Disease: Prevalence of HTLV-I Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) In West Azarbaijan from 2004 to 2007.

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Department of Neurology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.



Because of the low prevalence of Human T Lymphotropic Virus type I (HTLV-I) in comparison with Khorasan Province, considering HTLV-I as an etiology of spastic paraparesia, it may be neglected in evaluation of spastic paraparesis in the other regions of Iran. Some reports of spastic paraparetic patients due to HTLV-I infection in West Azarbaijan, caused us to reconsider the importance of HTLV-I epidemiology in the other areas of the country.


All spastic paraparetic patients who referred to Motahari and Imam Khomeini educational hospitals of Urmia from September 2004 to September 2007 were assessed for HTLV-I infection antibodies.


In our 3 years study, 11 cases were diagnosed as Human T Lymphotropic Virus type I Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP, 2 males and 9 females).The mean age of patients at the time of diagnosis was 45.8 years. Dorsal and cervical MRI of all patients was normal. Serum Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) and Western blot (WB) for anti HTLV-I antibody in all patients was positive. Four patients underwent for lumbar puncture in which were normal in respect of cells and biochemistry, but positive for anti-HLTLV-I antibodies.


HAM/TSP detection in West Azarbaijan in spite of its long distance from Khorasan Province shows the importance of anti-HTLV-I Ab assay in the blood and CSF of every spastic paraparetic patient all over the country.


HAM/TSP; HTLV-I; Iran; Spastic paraparesis


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