Neurologic cytomegalovirus complications in patients with AIDS: retrospective review of 13 cases and review of the literature

Departamento de Infectologia, Instituto de Infectologia Emílio Ribas, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo (Impact Factor: 1.01). 12/2010; 52(6):305-10. DOI: 10.1590/S0036-46652010000600004
Source: PubMed


Neurological disorders caused by Cytomegalovirus (CMV) in patients with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are rarely reported in the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) period. The objective of this study was to describe the main clinical and laboratory features of patients with CMV-related neurological complications in HIV-infected patients admitted to a referral center in São Paulo, Brazil. CMV disease requires the identification of the virus in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Thirteen cases were identified between January, 2004 and December, 2008. The median age of patients was 38 years and nine (69%) were men. At admission all patients were aware of their HIV status and only four (31%) patients were on HAART. Patients who were not on antiretroviral therapy before admission received HAART while inpatients. CMV disease was the first AIDS-defining illness in eight (62%) patients. The neurologic syndromes identified were diffuse encephalitis (n = 7; 62%), polyradiculopathy (n = 7; 54%), focal encephalitis (rhombencephalitis) (n = 1; 8%), and ventriculo-encephalitis (n = 1; 8%). Seven (54%) patients presented extra-neural CMV disease and four (31%) had retinitis. The median of CD4+ T-cell count was 13 cells/µL (range: 1-124 cells/µL). Overall in-hospital mortality was 38%. Eight patients used ganciclovir or foscarnet (in-hospital mortality: 50%) and five patients used ganciclovir and foscarnet (in-hospital mortality: 20%). None of the patients fulfilled the diagnosis criteria of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. Four patients were lost to follow-up, and three patients presented immune recovery and discontinued secondary prophylaxis. Although infrequent, distinct neurological syndromes caused by CMV continue to cause high mortality among AIDS patients. Survival depends upon the use of effective antiviral therapy against CMV and the early introduction of HAART.

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