Central nervous system vasculitis in cytomegalovirus infection

J Neurol Sci. 1981 Sep;51(3):395-410. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(81)90117-9.


A 51-year-old man received cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine and prednisone in the treatment of a small-cell undifferentiated lymphoma. Two years later, he developed a rapidly progressive neurological syndrome characterized by a decline in alertness, deafness, blindness and paraplegia. Examination of his eyes revealed severe hemorrhagic chorioretinitis. Leg weakness was thought to be due to transverse myelopathy at a thoracic level. He had a grand mal convulsion and died from terminal bronchopneumonia. Autopsy examination of the eyes revealed sweeping destruction of the retina due to inclusion body chorioretinitis. The brain and spinal cord showed multiple small infarcts accounting for the deafness and paraplegia. The lesions were due to occlusive arteritis in gray and white matter. Veins were also involved. Tissue surrounding the foci of necrosis contained cells with intranuclear an intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies. Some of the Cowdry type A inclusion bodies were large, measuring 30 micrometer in diameter and were located in enlarged cells. Electron microscopy of retina and brain tissue disclosed virus particles compatible with cytomegalovirus. The subject of cerebral and ocular angiitis due to herpes virus infections is reviewed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Chorioretinitis / pathology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology
  • Necrosis
  • Nervous System / blood supply
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve / pathology
  • Retina / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Vasculitis / pathology*