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Screening for HIV‐associated distal‐symmetric polyneuropathy inCDC‐classification stages 1, 2 and 3

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Objectives: A total of 670 patients were screened for distal symmetric HIV‐associated polyneuropathy during CDC stages 1–3 and its correlation to immunological deterioration. Material and methods: Clinical examinations of 670 patients admitted to the neurological outpatient clinic at the Department of Neurology, University of Münster. Neurophysiological investigations were performed on the sural and peroneal nerve for detection of axonal and myelin lesion. Results: Clinical examination proved progressive; clinical signs and symptoms indicating distal symmetric polyneuropathy from CDC 1 (32%) to CDC 3 (55%). At least one neurophysiological result was impaired in CDC 1 in 25% and in CDC 3 in 45%. Significant correlation between neurophysiological changes and correlations between neurophysiological changes and CDC4+‐cells and β‐microglobuline were detected for stage CDC 3 C. Conclusion: Results show stage related prevalence of distal symmetric polyneuropathy already in early stages. In late stages of HIV‐infection prevalence of distal symmetric polyneuropathy seems to be directly correlated to immunodeficiency syndrome. The pathogenesis of distal symmetric polyneuropathy during HIV‐infection is up to now incompletely understood, but results indicate a clear dependency between progressive immunological dysfunction and neuropathy. High active antiretroviral therapy in patients suffering from distal symmetric polyneuropathy is a main topic of future studies.

Keywords: HIV‐infection; correlation to CDC‐stages; distal‐symmetric HIV‐associated polyneuropathy; immunological deterioration; neurophysiology

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, 2: Department of Internal Medicine, 3: Department of Neurology, Winterbergkliniken Saarbrücken, 4: Department of Internal Medicine B

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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