Neurological complications of acquired immune deficiency syndrome: Analysis of 50 patients

Authors

  • William D. Snider MD,

    1. Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    2. Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David M. Simpson MD,

    1. Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    2. Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Surl Nielsen MD,

    1. Pathology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    2. Pathology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    Search for more papers by this author
  • W. M. Jonathan Gold MD,

    1. Medicine (Infectious Disease Service), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Departments of Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    2. Medicine, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Craig E. Metroka MD, PhD,

    1. Medicine, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jerome B. Posner MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    2. Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021
    • Department of Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, New York, NY 10021
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Fifty patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome had complications affecting the central or peripheral nervous systems or both. The patients were either male homosexuals, intravenous drug abusers, or recently arrived Haitian refugees. They ranged in age from 25 to 56. Central nervous system complications were of four kinds: (1) Infections included Toxoplasma gondii abscesses in 5 patients, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in 2, cryptococcal meningitis in 2, Candida albicans in 1, and possible Mycobacterium avium intracellulare in 3. Eighteen patients suffered a subacute encephalitis possibly attributable to cytomegalovirus infection. (2) Tumors consisted of primary lymphoma of the brain in 3 patients and meningeal invasion by systemic lymphoma in 4. (3) Vascular complications included nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis in 2 patients and cerebral hemorrhages in the setting of thrombocytopenia in 3. (4) Undiagnosed central nervous system problems were evidenced as focal brain lesions in 3 patients and self-limiting aseptic meningitis in 4. Peripheral neuropathy occurred in 8 patients.

Ancillary