Brain computed tomography of patients with HIV/AIDS before the advent of subsidized treatment program in Nigeria

  • Kenneth C Eze
  • Emeka U Eze


Background: The objective is to study intracranial complications of HIV/AIDS using brain‑computed tomography in patients who presented with neurological features before the advent of subsidized HIV/AIDS treatment program with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Retrospective study of patients’ records retrieved from radiology and medical records departments of the hospital. The studied patients had HIV/AIDS and presented with neurological features and underwent CT scan. Results: A total of 36 patients who tested positive for HIV and who presented with neurological features suspected to be complications of AIDS were examined with CT scan. They consisted of 24 male and 12 females. The male to female ratio was 2:1. The age of the patients ranged from 27 to 45 years. Seventeen patients (47.2%) were aged 30–34 years. Twenty‑four patients (60%) were single while 12 (40%) were married. Twenty‑seven patients (75%) were infected with HIV 1 and 2, five patients (13.9%) were infected only with HIV‑1 while four were infected with only HIV‑2. Presenting neurological complaints include left hemiplegia 13 (36.1%), right hemiplegia 6 (16.7%), coma 7 (19.4%), memory loss/dementia complex 5 (13.9%), convulsion with coma 2 (5.6%), left hemi‑pariesis with memory loss 2 (5.6%), and staggering gait 1 (2.8%). The findings in CT scan include infarcts‑like lesions 14 (38.9%), multiple ring‑enhancing lesions 7 (19.4%), cerebral atrophy 5 (13.9%), multiple nodular lesions 4 (11.1%), acute intracerebral hemorrhage 3 (8.3%), cerebral hemiatrophy 2 (5.6%), and solitary ring‑enhancing lesions 1 (2.8%). Eight patients with single or multiple ring enhancing lesions were treated with empirical treatment for toxoplasmosis but only three (37.5%) made full recovery. Conclusion: Brain CT scan showed extensive structural damages in patients with HIV/AIDS who were not treated with HAART. Out‑of‑pocket payment for investigations and treatment and absence of HAART could be partly responsible for high rate of advanced disease.

Keywords: Brain‑computed tomography, HIV/AIDS, neurological features, Nigeria, poverty

Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 53 | Issue 4 | October-December | 2012

Author Biographies

Kenneth C Eze
Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Anambra State
Emeka U Eze
Department of Medicine (Dermatology/Infectious disease unit), University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652