Platelet decline: An early predictive hematologic marker of simian immunodeficiency virus central nervous system disease

Lynn M. Wachtman, Patrick M. Tarwater, Suzanne E. Queen, Robert J. Adams, Joseph L. Mankowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


As the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-induced central nervous system (CNS) disease has increased with antiretroviral treatment, there is a critical need for identifying biomarkers that predict HIV CNS disease. To identify novel hematologic markers that precede and predict CNS disease, the authors examined longitudinal hematology data from 47 simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaques. This study demonstrated that the magnitude of decline in circulating platelet counts beginning at day 28 post infection, during asymptomatic SIV infection, predicted the eventual development of SIV encephalitis. Univariate analysis performed on platelet values obtained day 56 post inoculation demonstrated that SIV-infected macaques with the greatest decline in platelet numbers were 18 times more likely to develop SIV CNS disease than SIV-infected animals with minimal to no decline in circulating platelet counts. Decline in platelet number was a more robust marker than decline in hemoglobin levels, a previously identified marker of HIV CNS disease. The identification of an association between decline in platelets and the development of encephalitis demonstrates that monitoring platelet decline in HIV-infected individuals may serve as a predictive marker for clinical progression to HIV-induced CNS disease. Identifying those HIV-infected individuals at risk for CNS disease during asymptomatic stages of infection would promote early interventive, neuroprotective therapy to prevent neuronal damage and loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurovirology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Encephalitis
  • HIV
  • Hemoglobin
  • Marker
  • Platelet
  • SIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


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