Neuropediatrics 1987; 18(2): 99-106
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1052462
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Neurological Manifestations in Three German Children with AIDS

Brigitte  Biggemann1 , Th.  Voit1 , E.  Neuen2 , W.  Wechsler2 , H.  Kramer3 , R. v. Kries3 , V.  Wahn3
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Düsseldorf, West Germany
  • 2Department of Neuropathology, University of Düsseldorf, West Germany
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, University of Düsseldorf, West Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
16 May 2008 (online)


Abbreviations Acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS Cranial computed tomography CCT Cytomegalovirus CMV Concanavalin ConA Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA Human immunodeficiency virus HIV Phytohemagglutinin PHA Pokeweed mitogen PWM

We report the neurological findings in two children with AIDS and one child with lesser AIDS. The first patient developed acute encephalopathy 37 months after having received a blood transfusion from a HTLV-III positive donor. CCT showed ring-enhancement and hypodense lesions with homogenous enhancement. Autopsy revealed CNS toxoplasmosis. The second child with AIDS, born to an iv drugaddicted mother, had one seizure at four months of age, but other neurologic signs were absent. She died of pneumonia due to Pneumocystis carinii at seven months of age. Postmortem examination of the brain revealed extensive nerve cell damage in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum, probably due to terminal hypoxemia and not AIDS-related. In both children clinical features of childhood AIDS like failure to thrive, lymphadenopathy, oral thrush and chronic pulmonary infiltrates were absent. The hallmark of the third child's clinical course was a progressive loss of psychomotor abilities with onset of the neurological symptoms nine months before other signs of AIDS occurred.

AIDS should be suspected or excluded in children at increased risk for AIDS presenting with either acquired atypical CNS infection or unexplained developmental regression, even in the absence of other clinical symptoms of pediatric AIDS.