Scientific article

Toxoplasma encephalitis in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Published inMedicine, vol. 71, no. 4, p. 224-239
Publication date1992

Among 504 cases of AIDS diagnosed between 1983 and 1990, there were 86 patients (17%) with toxoplasma encephalitis (TE). All were symptomatic at the time of diagnosis. General signs such as fever, neck stiffness, or headache were present in 87.2%, and 75.6% had focal signs. The primary means of diagnosis was computerized tomographic scanning, revealing 169 lesions of which 80% were immediately contrast-enhancing. All patients had IgG antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii either before (74 of 75 evaluable patients) or at the time of diagnosis of TE (73 of 75). Elevated antibody titers were present in 44% of evaluable patients, compared to 11% of patients with AIDS and other opportunistic infections. Initial treatment was pyrimethamine plus sulfonamides in 65 patients, and pyrimethamine plus clindamycin in 12 patients, with other combinations or no treatment accounting for the remainder. Life-table analysis of the time to discontinuation of treatment because of suspected side effects suggested that sulfadiazine was significantly more toxic, with 48% of patients experiencing an interruption in treatment after 30 days, than pyrimethamine (12%) or clindamycin (24%). The 30-day mortality rate was 12%, and median survival was 310 days after diagnosis, 530 in patients treated with zidovudine and 190 days in those not so treated. Of 82 evaluable patients, 16 relapsed once and 4 of these more than once. The risk of relapse was 27% 1 year after diagnosis of a first episode of TE.

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/blood/complications/drug therapy
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Protozoan/blood
  • Biopsy
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid/chemistry
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G/immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Switzerland/epidemiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Toxoplasmosis, Cerebral/diagnosis/drug therapy/epidemiology
  • Zidovudine/therapeutic use
Citation (ISO format)
RENOLD, C et al. Toxoplasma encephalitis in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In: Medicine, 1992, vol. 71, n° 4, p. 224–239.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0025-7974

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