Acute myelitis as presenting symptom of HIV-HTLV-1 co-infection


A 21-year-old woman presented with acute-onset spastic paraparesis. The MRI spinal scan revealed a contrast-enhanced T2 hyperintensity between C5–T2. The most common neurotropic pathogens were excluded by first level tests. Under suspicion of an acute immune-mediated myelitis, a corticosteroid therapy was administered. However, a seropositivity for both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 and human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) subsequently emerged. An antiretroviral therapy was started while steroids discontinued. Patient’s clinical conditions remained unchanged. HIV-HTLV-1 co-infection should be included in the differential diagnosis of any acute myelitis, even in patients with a preserved immune status and no risk factors.

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Correspondence to A. Cucca.

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Cucca, A., Stragapede, L., Antonutti, L. et al. Acute myelitis as presenting symptom of HIV-HTLV-1 co-infection. J. Neurovirol. 22, 861–865 (2016).

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  • Myelitis
  • HIV
  • HTLV