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Aim

The aim of this study was to explore the physical status and gait patterns of children with spastic diplegia secondary to human immunodeficiency virus encephalopathy (HIVE).

Method

A cross-sectional study was conducted on children diagnosed with HIVE and spastic diplegia. Sociodemographic and clinical background information was obtained, followed by three-dimensional gait analysis (3DGA) and a physical examination including assessments of muscle tone, strength, motor control, contractures, and bony deformities of the lower extremities.

Results

Fourteen children (eight males, six females; mean age 5y 8mo [SD 9mo], range 4y 4mo–6y 10mo) were studied. The cohort was divided into two groups based on distinctive gait patterns. Nine participants in group I showed only limited abnormalities. Group II displayed a more pathological gait pattern including stiff knee and equinus ankle abnormalities. Results of 3DGA, as with the physical examination outcomes, showed increased impairments from proximal to distal (except for hip extension).

Interpretation

This study provides a first description of distinctive gait patterns and related physical characteristics of children with HIVE and spastic diplegia. Further research is necessary.