December 1991

High Frequency of Human Immunodeficiency Virus—Associated Autonomic Neuropathy and More Severe Involvement in Advanced Stages of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Outpatient Clinic (Drs Rüttimann, Hilti, and Dubach) and Division of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases (Dr Spinas), Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(12):2441-2443. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400120079013

We conducted a controlled trial to determine frequency and severity of autonomic neuropathy in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We studied 25 HIV-seropositive patients and 10 seronegative controls in HIV risk groups by means of five cardiovascular tests, and autonomic neuropathy was graded with a scoring system. The overall autonomic test score differed between patients and controls and was higher in patients with advanced (Centers for Disease Control class IV) disease than in those with earlier (class II or III) HIV disease. Of the patients, 60% had findings of autonomic dysfunction. Our data demonstrate a high prevalence of autonomic neuropathy in HIV-infected patients. Advanced HIV disease is associated with more severe involvement than earlier disease states.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:2441-2443)