Cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities in patients without AIDS who are seropositive for the human immunodeficiency virus

M. E. Appleman, D. W. Marshall, R. L. Brey, R. W. Houk, D. C. Beatty, R. E. Winn, G. P. Melcher, M. G. Wise, C. V. Sumaya, R. N. Boswell

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103 Scopus citations


Lumbar punctures were done on 114 consecutive active duty patients referred for evaluation of positive tests for antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Eighty-eight percent of these patients appeared to have early HIV infections, as evidenced by intact delayed hypersensitivity, T helper lymphocyte counts >400/mm3, and lack of constitutional symptoms. Forty-four (38.6%) of the patients met our criteria for abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); another 13 (11.4%) had borderline elevations of nucleated cells or protein and could not be definitely classified as having normal or abnormal CSF. No significant differences existed between the patients with normal and abnormal CSF with regard to age; sex; race; serum FTA-Abs; clinical staging; absolute T helper lymphocyte counts; or cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasma, or Epstein-Barr virus serologies. Seventy-two percent of the patients with abnormal CSF had evidence of possible viral infection of the central nervous system (CNS), as evidenced by increased CSF IgG, increased IgG synthesis rates, or the presence of oligoclonal bands. We found that a significant percentage of asymptomatic patients with apparently early HIV infections have abnormal CSF that is possibly due to CNS involvement by HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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