Brain growth and cognitive improvement in children with human immunodeficiency virus-induced encephalopathy after 6 months of continuous infusion zidovudine therapy

Charles DeCarli, L. Fugate, J. Falloon, J. Eddy, D. A. Katz, R. P. Friedland, S. I. Rapoport, P. Brouwers, P. A. Pizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ventricular area at the level of the foramen of Monro was measured from axial x-ray computed tomography (CT) scans obtained prior to and 6 months after the initiation of continuous infusion of zidovudine (ZDV) in eight children with human immunodeficiency virus-induced encephalopathy. Evidence of moderate to severe central atrophy was present on initial CT scans (p < 0.05). Ventricular area and ventricular brain area ratio (VBR) decreased after ZDV therapy in seven of eight children (mean decrease of 21.5 and 20%, respectively, p < 0.05). The degree of decrease in VBR correlated with reductions in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein concentration (r = 0.93, p < 0.01), but not lymphocyte T4 or T8 counts. Intelligence quotients (IQs) improved in all seven children tested (mean improvement of 17.7%, p < 0.01) and correlated significantly with reductions in CSF protein concentration (r = -0.85, p = 0.003). The magnitude of IQ changes was not significantly correlated with the magnitude of changes in ventricular area. We conclude that the cognitive improvement of HIV encephalopathy seen after 6 months of continuous infusion of ZDV is accompanied by reduction in brain atrophy and decreased CSF protein, suggesting an ameliorating effect of ZDV on the pathogenesis of AIDS encephalopathy in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-592
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Volume4
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Virology

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