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May 2007

Stroke Caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Associated Vasculopathy?

Arch Neurol. 2007;64(5):763. doi:10.1001/archneur.64.5.763-a

Tipping and colleagues1 discuss human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a cause of arterial disease with aneurysm and stroke. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that HIV causes vasculopathy. Furthermore, the authors' statement that herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus affect cerebral blood vessels is unfounded. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the only human virus that has been proven to cause vasculopathy.2 Both aneurysm3 and breakdown of the internal elastic lamina in cerebral arteries2 have been described in VZV vasculopathy.