Objective: The authors recently reported smaller basal ganglia volumes for patients with HIV-associated dementia than for HIV-infected patients without dementia and a seronegative comparison group. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether HIV dementia is associated with volume reductions in other brain regions.
Method: The authors measured volumes of CSF and gray and white tissue on cranial magnetic resonance images from homosexual men who were 1) infected with HIV with HIV-associated dementia complex, 2) infected with HIV without dementia, and 3) HIV seronegative.
Results: Results suggest that loss of white matter occurs with HIV infection and is more severe in HIV-positive patients with dementia than in those without dementia. There was some generalized volume reduction in gray matter in HIV-positive demented patients, although group differences did not reach significance when adjusted for age. Volume of posterior cortex, however, was significantly smaller among HIV-positive patients with dementia than in either remaining group. There were no significant differences between HIV-positive nondemented patients and HIV-negative subjects in these regions.
Conclusions: In conjunction with findings from previous research, the authors conclude that HIV dementia is associated with specific gray matter volume reduction in basal ganglia and posterior cortex, as well as with generalized volume reduction of white matter.