Patterns of cerebral atrophy in HIV-1-infected individuals: results of a quantitative MRI analysis

Neurology. 1992 Nov;42(11):2125-30. doi: 10.1212/wnl.42.11.2125.


Cerebral atrophy is a common radiologic manifestation of HIV dementia. To evaluate the relationship between cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy, adjusting for age and immune status, we used standardized planimetry to measure the ventricle-brain ratio (VBR) and the bifrontal (BFR) and bicaudate (BCR) ratios, three measures of cerebral atrophy. We analyzed cranial MRIs of 23 HIV-1-seronegative controls (SN) and 116 HIV-1-infected individuals. Of the HIV-1-seropositive individuals, 37 had HIV dementia (DM group), 40 had neurologic or neuropsychological abnormalities insufficient for HIV dementia (NP+ group), and 39 were neurologically normal (NML group). We performed comparisons using analysis of covariance with correction for multiple comparisons. Both the VBR, a general measure of overall cerebral atrophy, and the BCR, a measure of atrophy in the region of the caudate nucleus, are significantly associated with dementia. The association is stronger for BCR enlargement than for VBR enlargement, suggesting that selective caudate region atrophy is associated with HIV dementia. These results indicate that overall cerebral atrophy and prominent caudate region atrophy are important radiographic features of HIV dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / pathology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / pathology
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / pathology*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged