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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

Print version ISSN 1413-8670On-line version ISSN 1678-4391


SASAKI, Maria das Graças; LEITE, Patrícia G. B.; LEITE, Andréa G. B.  and  ALMEIDA, Sérgio Monteiro de. Bilateral peripheral facial palsy secondary to lymphoma in a patient with HIV/AIDS: a case report and literature review. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2002, vol.6, n.1, pp.50-54. ISSN 1413-8670.

Neurological complications represent one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with HIV/AIDS. However, peripheral neuropathy comprises only 5% to 20% of the total neurological complications and facial nerve palsy, especially when it is bilateral, is a less common manifestation. Peripheral facial palsy has been considered as a possible neurological complication of the early stage of HIV infection but the number of reported cases in the literature is limited. Histological findings of nervous tissue in peripheral facial palsy at an early stage of HIV infection include a degenerative and not suppurative inflammatory process, but its etiology remains obscure. Peripheral facial palsy in the late stage of HIV infection is characterized by an advanced immunological deficit and generally it is secondary to an opportunistic infection of the CNS, such as neurotoxoplasmosis and lymphoma. However, this peripheral attack of the facial nerve is not very common at this late stage of HIV infection. Bilateral peripheral facial palsy as a complication of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is considered an extremely rare entity. There are no published reports of bilateral peripheral facial palsy secondary to lymphomas or other neoplasms of the CNS in immunosupressed patients. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) has been considered a late and relatively common manifestation of HIV infection, but an exact cause for the higher incidence of this malignant neoplasm in HIV/AIDS patients is still uncertain.

Keywords : HIV; facial palsy; lymphoma.

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