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World Neurosurg. 2017 Feb;98:790-799.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.11.151. Epub 2016 Dec 10.

Diagnostic Value and Safety of Stereotactic Biopsy in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Patients with Intracranial Lesions: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
Department of General Surgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
Intensive Care Unit, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
Department of Ophthalmology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. Electronic address:



To evaluate the diagnostic value and safety of stereotactic biopsy in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients with intracranial lesions via meta-analysis.


Relevant cohort studies were identified through a literature search in PubMed, Embase, and Ovid from 1985 to October 1, 2016. Appropriate studies were identified per search criteria. Systematic review and meta-analysis were used to assess the diagnostic success rate, changed management rate, clinical improvement rate, mortality rate, morbidity rate, hemorrhage rate, hemorrhage in morbidity rate, and final histologic diagnosis results. Study-specific outcomes were combined per a random effects model. Outcomes were compared between the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and post-HAART groups. Correlations between outcomes were assessed via meta-regression analysis.


A total of 19 cohort studies with 820 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The weighted proportions per the random effects model were 92.2% (95% confidence interval [CI; 89.3%-94.5%]) for diagnostic success rate, 5.1% (95% CI [2.5%-8.3%]) for morbidity, and 0.7% (95% CI [0%-1.9%]) for mortality. The most common procedure-related morbidity was hemorrhage at 3.3% (95% CI [1.1%-6.3%]). Hemorrhage in morbidity was 78.0% (95% CI [51.4%-97.4%]). Management changed and clinical improvement were 60.4% (95% CI [49.4%-71.0%]) and 34.0% (95% CI [22.2%-46.8%]), respectively. The 4 most common diagnoses were primary central nervous system lymphoma (27.8%; 95% CI [20.2%-36.1%]), progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) (21.0%; 95% CI [14.3%-28.4%]), toxoplasma encephalitis (TE) (20.3%; 95% CI [14.3%-27.0%]), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) encephalitis (4.1%; 95% CI [1.4%-7.6%]). Multiple diagnoses rate was 1.2% (95% CI [0.0%-3.6%]). HIV encephalitis rate was significantly higher in the post-HAART group than the pre-HAART group (17.9% vs. 3.2%, respectively; P = 0.0024).


Stereotactic biopsy is a safe and effective way of diagnosing intracranial lesions in patients with AIDS. It is helpful for the differential diagnosis and for choosing a suitable therapy. The 4 most common intracranial lesions in patients with AIDS are lymphoma, PML, TE, and HIV encephalitis.


AIDS; HAART; Intracranial lesion; Stereotactic biopsy

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