The application of the polymerase chain reaction of cerebrospinal fluid in the clinical management of AIDS-related CNS disorders

Paola Cinque, Barbara Giudici, Simona Bossolasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In AIDS patients central nervous system (CNS) illness may be caused by HIV disease itself or by opportunistic agents, resulting in serious morbidity such as behavioral and motor disturbances, meningitis or encephalitis, among other disorders. Early diagnosis can allow specific treatment (e.g., antimicrobial treatment) that may prevent, ameliorate, or slow the catastrophic sequelae of infection, as well as reduce the need for expensive diagnostic procedures. Conventional microbiology techniques have proven inadequate for the diagnosis of most AIDS-related CNS diseases. However, the development in the past decade of the application of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to clinical specimens has facilitated the early diagnosis of a number of infectious diseases in these patients. The technique permits the amplification of target nucleic acids such that common laboratory methods may then be used for diagnosis. The application of PCR to cerebrospinal fluid for early diagnosis of AIDS-related neurologic complications has been an impressive example of the application of PCR and may form the basis of new algorithms for diagnosis and possibly the evaluation of treatment protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
Volume12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Leadership and Management

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