INFECTIOUS MYELOPATHIES

Spinal Cord Disorders p. 46-64 June 2005, Vol.11, No.3 doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000293720.86238.23
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Infectious diseases are an important cause of spinal cord disorders. Myelopathy may occur as a consequence of virtually any form of infectious agent from prions to parasites. Identification of the underlying etiology of an infectious myelopathy is important, as effective therapies are frequently available. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is among the more common causes of infectious myelopathy, but it has been underappreciated clinically. Approximately one third of individuals dying with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) will have pathological evidence of HIV-associated vacuolar myelopathy. From a historical vantage point, descriptions of patients with the prototypical infectious myelopathy, tabes dorsalis, led to some of the best known eponyms in medicine, such as Charcot joints and Romberg sign.

© 2005 American Academy of Neurology