Spastic ataxia associated with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type II infection

Ann Neurol. 1993 Apr;33(4):411-4. doi: 10.1002/ana.410330416.


Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type one (HTLV-1) is associated with tropical spastic paraparesis or HTLV-I--associated myelopathy. We report 2 women with a spastic ataxic illness similar to HTLV-I--associated myelopathy infected solely with HTLV-II. Identification of HTLV-II infection was made serologically, by polymerase chain reaction, and by viral culture (in 1 woman). One woman, treated with 200 mg of danazol orally, three times daily, had pronounced improvement in ambulation, nocturnal spasticity, and nighttime urinary frequency. It appears that infection with HTLV-II may cause an illness similar to HTLV-I--associated myelopathy, but distinguished by the presence of ataxia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Ataxia / etiology*
  • Ataxia / microbiology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • HTLV-II Infections / complications*
  • HTLV-II Infections / diagnosis
  • HTLV-II Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology*
  • Muscle Spasticity / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serologic Tests


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal