Effective diagnosis and treatment of cytomegalovirus infection of the nervous system in AIDS patients has been limited by a lack of sensitive diagnostic measures. Retrospective series suggest a poor prognosis for cytomegalovirus encephalitis with rapid mortality. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of cytomegalovirus DNA allows detection in CSF that appears specific for CNS infection. In this series of seven patients with CNS cytomegalovirus infection in AIDS, four patients responded to therapy. Serial determinations of cytomegalovirus DNA in CSF in five patients revealed persistent detection in two treatment failures and absence of detection in three responders on subsequent CSF samples. A prospective trial to determine optimal therapy and to confirm the utility of cytomegalovirus DNA in CSF as a marker of the course of cytomegalovirus infection in the CNS is warranted and should consider prior therapy for cytomegalovirus, prior opportunistic infections, and leukoencephalopathy as potential prognostic variables.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology