Varicella zoster virus-associated neurological disease in HIV-infected patients.

Brown, M; Scarborough, M; Brink, N; Manji, H; Miller, R; (2001) Varicella zoster virus-associated neurological disease in HIV-infected patients. International journal of STD & AIDS, 12 (2). pp. 79-83. ISSN 0956-4624 DOI:

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Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is an uncommon but well recognized cause of neurological disease in HIV-infected patients. Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in HIV-infected patients presenting with neurological disease has increasingly allowed diagnosis of VZV-associated pathology. We report clinical, radiological and virological data from 15 consecutive patients with VZV-associated neurological disease. Clinical presentation was varied, including meningo-encephalitis in 9 and isolated cranial nerve palsies in 6. VZV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was detected by PCR in CSF of 11/15; pleocytosis was present in only 6/15, raised protein in 11/15. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearances were focal signal abnormalities in 8, meningeal enhancement in 2 and normal in 2. With specific anti-VZV therapy 10 patients recovered fully. The predictive value of PCR on CSF for diagnosis of VZV-associated neurological disease should take into account the patient's clinical presentation, concurrent infections and response to anti-VZV therapy.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
PubMed ID: 11236108
Web of Science ID: 167099200003


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