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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X


GARRETTO, N.S. et al. Hemicorea asociada a toxoplasmosis cerebral y SIDAHemichorea in a patient with toxoplasmosis and AIDS. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1995, vol.53, n.1, pp.118-122. ISSN 0004-282X.

Only 12 AIDS cases with hemichorea were reported in the literature. We report the first case of hemichorea associated with AIDS and cerebral toxoplasmosis in our country. A 26-year-old man had 3 episodes of focal seizures on the left side with subsequent loss of consciousness. A few weeks later, he noticed progressive left-sided weakness. Examination revealed a left hemiparesis. MRI of the head showed a round mass in the right frontal lobe and a smaller lesion in the left temporo-occipital area. Laboratory showed positive serum ELISA and Western Blot analysis for HIV antibodies. Serum tests for Toxoplasma showed elevated titers. He was treated with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine. His weakness improved and he had no further seizures. Two weeks later, choreic movements appeared in the left foot, finally involving the entire left hemibody. A second MRI showed a new small lesion in the right cerebral peduncle. The patient completed 6 weeks of treatment, with further reduction in the size of the lesions. Nevertheless, the left hemichorea persisted. We believe that the hemichorea our patient had was caused by the contralateral peduncular lesion. Lesions involving the subthalamic nucleus or its connections may cause contralateral hemiballismus or hemichorea. In spite of the favorable response to antitoxoplasmic therapy, the hemichorea persisted. The present report illustrates an uncommon neurological complication in AIDS. We believe that a combination of a focal cerebral lesion and the HIV infection caused the movement disorder presented by the patient.

Keywords : AIDS; cerebral toxoplasmosis; hemichorea.

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