Stroke in pediatric acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Ann Neurol. 1990 Sep;28(3):303-11. doi: 10.1002/ana.410280302.


In a 4 1/2-year period, 4 of 68 children in a longitudinal study of neurological complications of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection had clinical and/or neuroradiological evidence of stroke, yielding a clinical incidence of stroke in this population of 1.3% per year. During this period, 32 subjects died, and permission for autopsy was granted in 18 of the patients, including 3 of 4 who had clinical evidence of stroke. The prevalence of cerebrovascular pathological features in our consecutive autopsy series was higher than the clinical incidence. At autopsy cerebrovascular disease was documented in 6 (24%) of 25 children with HIV infection, including all 3 children who had clinical evidence of stroke. Four patients had intracerebral hemorrhages, 6 patients had nonhemorrhagic infarcts, and 3 had both. Hemorrhage was catastrophic in 1 child and clinically silent in 3 children, all of whom had immune thrombocytopenia. One child had an arteriopathy that affected meningocerebral arteries. In another child, the arteries of the circle of Willis were aneurysmally dilated. Two children had coexisting cardiomyopathy and subacute necrotizing encephalomyelopathy with vascular proliferation. These results suggest that stroke should be considered when children with HIV infection develop focal neurological signs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalomalacia / complications
  • Encephalomalacia / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed