Pediatric Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Neurologic Syndromes

Anita Lesgold Belman, Gary Diamond, Dennis Dickson, Dikran Horoupian, Josefina Llena, George Lantos, Arye Rubinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

242 Scopus citations


Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction was documented in 61 of 68 infants and children with symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus infection. The most frequent manifestations included acquired microcephaly, cognitive deficits, and bilateral pyramidal tract signs. Lymphoma of the CNS, cerebrovascular accidents, and CNS infection caused by conventional pathogens were documented in only ten children (15%). Neurologic deterioration in 11 children was subacute but steadily progressive; in 31 the course was more indolent and began with a plateau. Of these 31 children, 13 had further neurologic deterioration and the conditions of three improved. Seventeen children had a static course with cognitive deficits (seven children) or cognitive plus neurologic impairment (ten children). Neuroradiologic studies in the children with a subacute progressive or plateau course disclosed cerebral atrophy, white matter abnormalities, and calcification of the basal ganglia. Postmortem findings included variable degrees of inflammatory response, multinucleated cells, calcific vasculopathy, and pyramidal tract degeneration. Computed tomographic studies of the children with a static course were normal or showed mild atrophy, but poor brain growth was documented by serial head circumference measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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