Putamen Hypertrophy in Nondemented Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Cognitive Compromise | Allergy and Clinical Immunology | JAMA Neurology | JAMA Network
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Original Contribution
September 2007

Putamen Hypertrophy in Nondemented Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Cognitive Compromise

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory, Center for Memory and Brain, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts (Mss Castelo, Courtney, and Melrose and Dr Stern); and Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown (Dr Stern).

Arch Neurol. 2007;64(9):1275-1280. doi:10.1001/archneur.64.9.1275

Background  Documented death and dysfunction of basal ganglia cells in patients seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) suggest that the virus may cause structural compromise to these regions.

Objectives  To examine subcortical volumes in nondemented patients seropositive for HIV (HIV+) by means of a novel automated neuroanatomic morphometric analysis tool, and to investigate relationships among cognitive function, immune health, and subcortical volumes.

Design and Setting  Cross-sectional study of subcortical morphometry and cognitive function conducted at the Boston University Center for Memory and Brain and the Massachusetts General Hospital Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Patients  Twenty-two nondemented HIV+ patients and 22 age- and education-matched healthy control participants.

Main Outcome Measures  Subcortical segmentation volumes, neuropsychological performance, and immunological variables.

Results  Nondemented HIV+ patients demonstrated relative and isolated putamen hypertrophy compared with control participants. Putamen volume enlargement in HIV+ patients was related to motor slowing and immune status, such that higher CD4 lymphocyte levels were associated with larger putamen volumes. There were no other subcortical volume differences between the groups.

Conclusions  This study suggests that basal ganglia hypertrophy accompanies HIV-related mild cognitive compromise. These findings may represent a structural imaging parallel to functional imaging studies demonstrating basal ganglia hypermetabolism in HIV+ patients with mild cognitive compromise and early HIV-associated brain disease.