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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X

Abstract

MELO, Ailton; GOMES, Irenio  and  MATTOS, Kilma. HTLV-I associated myelopathy in the city of Salvador, Bahia (Brazil). Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1994, vol.52, n.3, pp.320-325. ISSN 0004-282X.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X1994000300006.

Chronic myelopathy associated with human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) has been described in several endemic areas in Brazil. In Salvador, 102 patients with myelopathy were screened for HTLV-I/II by ELISA and Western blot assays. We found 36 patients with HTLV-I/II associated myelopathy confirming the high prevalence of HAM in Salvador. The initial complaint of our patients were urinary urgency, back pain and progressive unsteadiness on walking. On examination all of them had a spastic paraparesis, variable degrees of lower motor neuron syndrome, deep and superficial sensitive syndrome. MRI analysis revealed lesions in the periventricular white matter in addition to atrophy of the thoracic spinal cord. Clinical and magnetic resonance findings reveal that the inflammatory lesions of HAM involve not only the spinal cord but also the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Keywords : HTLV-I; myelopathy; tropical spastic paraparesis; TSP; HAM; leukoencephalomyeloneuropathy.

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