Subarachnoid hemorrhage and diffuse vasculopathy in an adult infected with HIV. Case report

J Neurosurg. 2007 Mar;106(3):478-80. doi: 10.3171/jns.2007.106.3.478.


This 34-year-old man with a 10-year history of HIV infection presented with an acute onset of severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and left-sided weakness. Computed tomography (CT) scanning demonstrated diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and subsequent CT angiography revealed multiple large and giant intracranial aneurysms with diffuse vasculopathy. The patient's CD4-positive cell count was low, although he had been receiving combination antiretroviral therapy and his viral load was undetectable. The preponderance of the literature on HIV-infected patients with intracranial vascular involvement has concerned children in whom there is a high viral load. In such children, appropriate antiretroviral therapy may result in the complete resolution of these vascular abnormalities. In the present study, the authors report on the unique case of an HIV-infected adult patient who presented with SAH, diffuse intracranial vasculopathy, and multiple giant and fusiform aneurysms, despite having received adequate antiretroviral treatment and demonstrating an undetectable viral load. Intracranial vascular involvement in these patients may become increasingly common as the management of HIV infection continues to improve and afflicted patients survive for longer periods.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / virology*
  • Male
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / virology*