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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64--68

Neurological manifestations of HIV-AIDS at a tertiary care institute in North Eastern India

Department of Neurology, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, Meghalaya, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shri Ram Sharma
Department of Neurology, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, Meghalaya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.198203

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Background: The nervous system is among the most frequent and serious targets of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The infection usually occurs in patients with profound immunosuppression. In 10 - 20% of the patients, the presence of a neurological disease is the first manifestation of symptomatic HIV infection. Aims and Objective: Despite the wide prevalence of neurological manifestations in HIV, there is no study examining the clinical manifestations of this disease in the resource- limited communities from north-eastern parts of India. To characterize the neurological involvement in patients with HIV infection at a tertiary care institute in northeast India, we studied various neurological presentations of HIV. Setting and Design: This was a retrospective observational study done at a tertiary care institute in northeast India over a period of 6 years from August 2008 to September 2014. Material and Methods: A total of 91 HIV seropositive patients of both genders, aged >18 years, showing clinical evidence of central nervous system (CNS) involvement, and admitted in a tertiary care institute were included. Their clinical manifestations, laboratory investigations, and imaging were studied. Result: Tuberculous meningitis was the most common presentation as secondary CNS illness (43.9%), followed by cryptococcal meningitis (14.2%) and cerebrovascular accidents (5.49%). Furthermore, 6.59% had neurosyphilis, 6.59% had acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) - associated dementia, and peripheral neuropathy occurred in 16.4% of the patients. Headache was the most common neurological symptom seen in 25% of the patients. Seizures were noted in 25% of the pateints. CD4 was significantly low in most of the patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, HIV associated encephalopathy (HAD) and cryptococcal meningitis compared with other neurological manifestations. CD4 counts in tuberculous meningitis and HAD were 110.3/μl and 95/μl, respectively. Conclusion: CNS tuberculosis was the most common secondary infection seen in HIV patients followed by cryptococcal meningitis. A high index of clinical suspicion of neurological involvement in HIV patients helps in the early diagnosis and early institution of specific treatment, which in turn decreases the morbidity and mortality considerably.


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