Acute transient inflammatory leukoencephalopathy in HIV

E. Tavazzi, L. Magrassi, A. MacCabruni, V. Bargiggia, A. Pichiecchio, S. Delbue, P. Ferrante, L. Minoli, E. Marchioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV-related acute inflammatory leukoencephalopathy of undetermined origin (AIL) is characterized by abrupt onset of symptoms generally associated with focal brain lesions and inflammatory CSF findings. A previously asymptomatic 31-year-old HIV+ woman presented with acute cognitive difficulties, right hemiparesis and dysphasia. Brain MRI showed a large contrast-enhancing lesion in the left frontal lobe; brain biopsy revealed an inflammatory process. No etiological agent was found in blood, CSF or brain tissue. The patient was given systemic steroids and gammaglobulins and put on HAART. Clinical conditions progressively and completely recovered. Further brain MRI showed the shrinkage of the lesion with no contrast enhancement. Our case could be classified as AIL in HIV resembling ADEM pattern and highlights the importance of taking into consideration. ADEM in the diagnostic process of HIV-related leukoencephalopathy even if the typical features are lacking, as immunodeficiency could modify both presentation and disease course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-902
Number of pages4
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Acute leukoencephalopathy
  • ADEM
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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