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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neurological manifestations of cytomegalovirus infection in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most important opportunistic infections in AIDS. The most common manifestation of neurological CMV disease in HIV infection is retinitis followed by encephalitis, polyradiculopathy, and multifocal neuropathy. Untreated necrotizing retinitis proceeds to blindness but can readily be diagnosed by ophthalmological examination. CMV polyradiculopathy presents as subacute leg weakness, paraesthesia, and urinary retention. Untreated patients develop ascending paralysis and die within weeks. Multifocal neuropathy commonly affects the radial, ulnar, and peroneal nerves but cranial nerves may also be involved. Confusion, cranial nerve palsies, and hyperreflexia are signs of ventriculoencephalitis, whereas the presentation of diffuse micronodular encephalitis is often asymptomatic. The diagnostic approach relies on the detection of CMV DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid for polyradiculopathy, encephalitis, and neuropathy. Neuroimaging can exclude other causes of encephalitis and polyradiculopathy. Ganciclovir, foscarnet, and cidofovir monotherapy are current medical treatment options. Intraocular administration can be used for refractory retinitis, but additional systemic prophylaxis is required to suppress extraocular disease. Ganciclovir and foscarnet have improved the prognosis of multifocal neuropathy and polyradiculopathy, but response rates for encephalitis are low. However, despite therapy survival of central nervous CMV disease is still limited to months. Recently highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has decreased the overall incidence of CMV disease in AIDS. Furthermore (HAART) has become a mainstay for CMV therapy by improving the patient's immunocompetence against CMV.[1]


  1. Neurological manifestations of cytomegalovirus infection in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Anders, H.J., Goebel, F.D. International journal of STD & AIDS. (1999) [Pubmed]
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