September 1988

Spectrum of Cerebrospinal Fluid Findings in Various Stages of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Marshall, Brey, and Cahill), Rheumatology (Dr Houk), and Medicine (Dr Boswell) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Unit (Dr Zajac), US Air Force (USAF) Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), Tex.

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(9):954-958. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520330032007

• This report summarizes the results of neurologic and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) study findings in over 400 of the 649 human immunodeficiency virus-infected US Air Force personnel, evaluated as of Dec 31, 1987. Eighty percent of these patients were entirely asymptomatic and immunologically normal, 13% had low T-helper lymphocyte counts and/or cutaneous anergy, and only 7% had opportunistic infection. Sixty-three percent of all patients had some CSF abnormality. Sixty percent of the asymptomatic group had at least one abnormal result, over 25% had three or four CSF abnormalities, and over 7% had five or six abnormal values. When patients with evidence of blood-brain barrier leak were excluded, significant differences were seen between disease groups with regard to CSF glucose, CSF IgG levels, and CSF IgG synthesis. No human immunodeficiency virus-related central nervous system abnormalities were found on neurologic examination in immunologically intact asymptomatic patients regardless of CSF findings. No clear-cut predictor of impending central nervous system complications has, as yet, been identified from the CSF parameters studied.