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Abstract Details

Dramatic Improvement of MRI Abnormalities of HIV Dementia after Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy
Infectious Disease
S25 - Infectious Disease: Clinical Clues and Management (1:12 PM-1:24 PM)
A 59-year-old man diagnosed with HIV 26 years prior and a long history of antiretroviral therapy (ART) non-adherence presented with subacute cognitive decline. A neurologic workup including cerebrospinal fluid testing showed no evidence of opportunistic infections. He was admitted to an assisted care facility where he restarted ART. However, he remained viremic and was referred to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). On admission to the NIH, he had an HIV plasma viral load of 28,056 copies/mL and CD4 T-cell count of 5 cells/µL. He was started on a new ART regimen with increased central nervous system penetration (etravirine, dolutegravir, darunavir/cobicistat, tenofovir/emtricitabine). MRI revealed extensive leukoencephalopathy and volume loss, consistent with HIV encephalopathy. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing revealed significant deficits in all cognitive domains, including learning, memory, attention, executive function, and psychomotor speed. The patient was followed for two years, during which time he achieved and sustained viral suppression (<40 copies/mL) and reached a CD4 T-cell count of 197 with ART. A repeat MRI showed profound improvement in the white matter signal abnormality. Repeat neuropsychological testing demonstrated notable improvements in several tests of attention, information processing, and psychomotor speed, but continued difficulty in most other cognitive domains.
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While current ART regimens are highly effective in reducing the incidence of HIV-associated neurologic complications, their role in reversing the MRI abnormalities seen in HIV encephalopathy remains unclear. In this case, we tracked HIV encephalopathy in the current era of effective ART with serial MRI evaluations. Our results provide a rare example of dramatic reduction of periventricular white matter hyperintensities and improved performance in a subset of cognitive domains. Providers encountering white matter abnormalities in patients with treated HIV should consider this legacy effect in evaluating whether disease is progressive, or as in this case, improved.
Devon Kathleen Dietrich, Other (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
Ms. Dietrich has nothing to disclose.
Elizabeth Laidlaw, PA Miss Laidlaw has nothing to disclose.
Dima Hammoud, MD (National Institutes of Health) Dr. Hammoud has nothing to disclose.
Alice K. Pau, Other (NIH-NIAID) Dr. Pau has nothing to disclose.
Bryan Smith, MD (NIH) Dr. Smith has nothing to disclose.