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Neuro-ophthalmological disorders in HIV infected subjects with neurological manifestations
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  1. J-C Mwanza1,3,
  2. L K Nyamabo2,
  3. T Tylleskär3,
  4. G T Plant4
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Kinshasa University Hospital, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Kinshasa University Hospital, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  3. 3Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  4. 4Department of Neuro-ophthalmology, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Jean-Claude Mwanza University of Bergen, Centre for International Health, Armauer Hansen Building, N-5021 Bergen, Norway; jcmwanzahotmail.com

Abstract

Aims: To determine the frequency and features of neuro-ophthalmological manifestations in neurologically symptomatic HIV infected patients and to assess whether or not the visual evoked potential (VEP) features in these patients differ from those of neurologically asymptomatic HIV infected patients.

Methods: Neuro-ophthalmological evaluation was performed in 166 neurologically symptomatic confirmed HIV positive patients, of whom 75 with normal ophthalmological examination were further studied by means of VEPs. The VEPs values were compared to those obtained from 53 other confirmed HIV positive subjects with neither ophthalmological nor neurological manifestations, who served as a comparison group and to the references values of our laboratory.

Results: An abnormal neuro-ophthalmological examination was noted in 99/166 patients (60%). Eye movement disorders were present in 99 patients (51%). Visual field defects were detected in 39% of the patients. Optic neuropathy was noted in 31%, papilloedema in 27% and ocular motor nerve palsies in 26% of the patients. Toxoplasmosis and cryptococcosis were the most frequent associated pathologies, though in some patients the HIV itself was the presumed cause. VEPs were abnormal in 57% and 42% of patients with and without neurological manifestations, respectively. Compared to asymptomatic patients, symptomatic patients had a significantly increased mean latency; however, both groups had significant increase in mean latency compared to reference values.

Conclusion: Neuro-ophthalmological manifestations are common in neurologically symptomatic HIV infected patients. Subclinical dysfunction in the visual pathways is a common phenomenon in both HIV infected patients with and without neurological symptoms, but neurologically symptomatic patients seem to have more damage in their visual pathways.

  • ADC, AIDS related dementia complex
  • CRY, cryptococcosis
  • HIV, human immunodeficiency virus
  • LPH, lymphoma
  • TBC, tuberculosis
  • TXP, toxoplasmosis
  • VEP, visual evoked potential
  • neuro-ophthalmological manifestations
  • neurological manifestations
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • visual evoked potentials
  • ADC, AIDS related dementia complex
  • CRY, cryptococcosis
  • HIV, human immunodeficiency virus
  • LPH, lymphoma
  • TBC, tuberculosis
  • TXP, toxoplasmosis
  • VEP, visual evoked potential
  • neuro-ophthalmological manifestations
  • neurological manifestations
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • visual evoked potentials

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