We analysed sera and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 20 cases of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type (HTLV-I) associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) from Brazil and Iran and as controls, 16 Brazilian HTLVI seronegative individuals afflicted with other neurological diseases. It was observed in the HAM/TSP patients that: 1) all had an inflammatory reaction within the central nervous system (CNS); 2) 95% (19/20) showed oligoclonal bands reflecting intrathecal IgG synthesis; 3) 85% (17/20) presented a local synthesis of HTLVI antibodies; 4) 35% (7/20) had a measurable immunoglobulin (Ig) synthesis within the CNS. The CSF parameters of the HAM/TSP were compared with the clinical data (age at onset, duration of disease and disability level). Our data prove that CSF analysis is important for the diagnosis of HAM/TSP. There is no association between the severity of the disease and CSF findings.
HTLV-I; HAM; cerebrospinal fluid; multiple sclerosis