The peripheral nervous system complications of HIV infection.



Faraj EL-Mabruk

Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Garyounis, Benghazi, Libya

Libyan J Infect Dis. Vol. 1, No.2. July-2007:63-75


More than half of HIV-infected persons develop symptomatic neurological disease. The nervous system is extensively involved with no part of the neuraxis being immune from the virus. HIV-associated neuropathies have become the most frequent neurological disorder associated with HIV infection. The most common forms of HIV-associated neuropathies are the distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP) and antiretroviral toxic neuropathy. Other forms include acute or chronic inflammatory polyneuropathies. Mononeuritis multiplex or radiculopathies may occur in late stages and are mostly associated with opportunistic infections. Furthermore, HIV-related muscle involvement is an uncommon but important complication. This may be due to polymyositis, HIV-associated wasting syndrome or may be aggravated by drugs. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available data on clinical manifestations, pathogenesis, investigations and the therapeutic implication for peripheral nervous system (PNS) neuropathies complications of HIV/AIDS. This review summarises those issues that are likely to confront clinicians, including those who do not routinely treat people infected with HIV.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; neuropathy; anti-retroviral neuropathy; myopathy, motor neuron disease.