Multiple sclerosis and HIV: a case of multiple sclerosis-immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome associated with antiretroviral therapy initiation

Pria Anand, Deanna Saylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies have suggested that the incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) in HIV-infected (HIV+) patients is lower than that of the general population. Here, we present a case of MS in an HIV+ patient with a relatively suppressed CD4 cell count who developed clinical and radiographic disease worsening in the setting of antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. A 47-year-old HIV+ woman (CD4 cell count 216 cells/µl) presented with decreased vision in her right eye. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed optic nerve enhancement and open ring-enhancing lesions in the brain concerning for demyelinating disease. Cerebrospinal fluid was tested extensively for infection and malignancy with no abnormal findings. She received five days of intravenous methylprednisolone. Nine days later, she was restarted on ART. Three weeks later, she was readmitted with left eye vision loss and left hemiplegia (CD4 cell count 342 cells/µl). Repeat imaging showed multiple new enhancing lesions. Several cases have described severe MS relapses and unusually widespread demyelinating lesions on MRI after withdrawal of immunosuppressive drugs. We posit that the clinical and radiographic progression that occurred in our patient after initiation of ART represented an immune reconstitution response to ART. Caution may be warranted when initiating ART in HIV+ patients with suppressed CD4 cell count and active MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-932
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Keywords

  • HIV
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • immune reconstitution
  • multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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