Objective: To determine the timing, extent, and magnitude of neurodevelopmental problems in children with perinatal HIV infection compared to similar uninfected children of HIV-infected women and controls.
Methods: Neurodevelopmental assessments during the first 24 months of life for 21 HIV-infected children born to HIV-infected mothers, 65 seroreverted children born to HIV-infected mothers, and 95 non-HIV-infected children born to non-HIV-infected mothers were analyzed. Neurodevelopment was assessed by using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development beginning at 3 months of age. Kent Scoring Adaptation was also utilized. A two-stage Hierarchical Linear Model was used for analysis of neurodevelopmental scores.
Results: In the initial comparison of these three groups, infected children had significantly lower scores on the Mental Development Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) than the other two groups. The HIV-infected children were further classified into HIV-infected without Centers for Disease Control-defined AIDS, those with lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis (LIP) only as their AIDS-defining illness, and children with an AIDS-defining diagnosis other than LIP in the first 24 months. The children with LIP-only AIDS and the infected children without AIDS on average were not significantly different from the seroreverters or the controls on MDI or PDI, while the children with non-LIP AIDS had significantly lower scores after 3 months of age. Analysis of the Kent scores indicated that the decrement in the non-LIP AIDS children was seen in all five functional domains.
Conclusion: Children with serious HIV symptomatology appear to be at very high risk for serious developmental impairments, HIV-infected children not highly symptomatic have relatively normal neurodevelopment, and uninfected children of HIV-infected mothers do not appear to be adversely affected by the mother's HIV infection.