Twenty-five children with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) underwent cranial magnetic resonance imaging and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on clinical parameters: encephalopathy and nonencephalopathy. N-acetyl aspartate/creatine ratios were compared between the 2 groups and to control data. Spectra were obtained for 2 volumes of interest: the basal ganglia region and the white matter. The mean basal ganglia region ratio for the AIDS encephalopathy patients (n = 8) was 1.12 and the ratio for the AIDS nonencephalopathy patients (n = 17) was 1.48. The ratio for the 9 controls was 1.57. The encephalopathy group had a significantly lower ratio than both the control (P < .001) and the AIDS nonencephalopathy group (P < .002). The mean white matter ratio for the encephalopathy group (n = 8) was 1.47 and for the AIDS nonencephalopathy group (n = 13) was 1.82 with a control (n = 6) ratio of 1.82. The encephalopathy patients had a lower white matter ratio than the nonencephalopathy (P < .05) patients but the ratio was not different than controls (P < .11). It is concluded that N-acetyl aspartate/creatine ratios are reduced in childhood AIDS encephalopathy and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy may be helpful in defining brain human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection. However, further longitudinal studies are necessary to determine the sensitivity and specificity of this technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology