Author(s): Goplen AK, Liestl K, Dunlop O, Bruun JN, Maehlen J
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Abstract In a well-defined population of adult AIDS patients from Oslo, we studied the correlation between clinical dementia and autopsy results. The study included 91\% of all adult AIDS patients from Oslo who died between 1983 and 1996. The autopsy rate was 73\% (167/229). Twenty-three percent of patients had definite dementia and 24\% possible dementia. In more than half of the patients with definite dementia multinucleated giant cells were present in the brain tissue, suggesting that the dementia was due to HIV encephalitis. Diffuse damage of white matter also showed a significant association with clinical dementia. When found alone it tended to occur in symptomatic patients with a short survival time from onset of dementia until death. This indicates that diffuse damage of white matter may be an early stage of HIV encephalitis. CMV encephalitis was found in 28 cases (17\%). Of these, 20 were classified as definitely or possibly demented. In 14 of these 20 cases we detected no multinucleated giant cells, suggesting that CMV caused or contributed to the dementia. Multiple logistic regression supported an association between CMV and conditions clinically classified as HIV dementia. We conclude that HIV encephalitis is the major cause of dementia in AIDS patients, but that CMV encephalitis as a cause of dementia has been underestimated.
This article was published in Scand J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents