Cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities in homosexual men with and without neuropsychiatric findings

Justin C. McArthur*, Bruce A. Cohen, Homayoon Farzedegan, David R. Cornblath, Ola A. Selnes, David Ostrow, Richard T. Johnson, John Phair, B. Frank Polk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


We have studied cerebrospinal fluid obtained from 38 homosexual or bisexual men participating in a prospective study of the neuropsychological disorders associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Twenty‐two subjects had neuropsychiatric findings and seropositivity, 11 asymptomatic subjects had seroconverted within 6 to 24 months, and 5 subjects were seronegative controls. Only 1 had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome‐related complex, and none had the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome when intially studied. There was a high rate of cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities in men with neuropsychiatric findings, including pleocytosis (41%), elevated IgG and IgG index (47%), and oligoclonal bands (18%). Even in the absence of neuropsychiatric findings, the asymptomatic HIV‐seropositive subjects frequently had spinal fluid abnormalities. Of those with neuropsychiatric findings, HIV p24 antigen was detectable in cerebrospinal fluid in only 1 individual, yet HIV was isolated in 11 of 16 (69%) compared to 2 of 7 (29%) of those without neuropsychiatric findings. The identification of cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities in individuals known to have become infected within 6 to 24 months supports the hypothesis that the nervous system is an early target for HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S34-S37
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number1 S
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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