Recurrent stroke as a manifestation of primary angiitis of the central nervous system in a patient infected with human immunodeficiency virus

Arch Neurol. 2002 Mar;59(3):468-73. doi: 10.1001/archneur.59.3.468.


Context: Cerebral vasculitis in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is usually related to additional or secondary infectious agents other than neoplastic diseases or HIV itself.

Objective: To describe a 31-year-old patient infected with HIV who presented with 2 recurrent, acute episodes of neurologic impairment in a 5-month period.

Design: Comparison of clinical and histologic data between the present case and previously published cases.

Setting: Community hospital.

Patient: A 31-year-old, HIV-infected patient with recurrent strokes and chronic lymphocytic meningitis.

Intervention: After ruling out cardiac embolisms and coagulation disorders, the presence of central nervous system vasculitis, probably secondary to an infectious process, was suspected based on the clinical examination and cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities.

Results: Necropsy findings suggest the diagnosis of primary angiitis of the central nervous system, and the only infectious agent that could be found was HIV.

Conclusions: Histologic studies were compatible with a diagnosis of primary angiitis of the central nervous system, but the pathogenic role of HIV in the genesis of the vasculitic process cannot be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Viral / complications
  • Meningitis, Viral / pathology
  • Recurrence
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / complications*
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / diagnosis
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / virology*