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Amendment on brain signal intensity on Magnetic Resonance Imaging of asymptomatic HTLV-1 seropositive and HTLV-1 associated myelopathy
Retrovirology volume 11, Article number: P10 (2014)
HTLV-1-associated myelopathy (HAM) is a classic neurological disease, but cognitive impairment and altered signal intensity on MRI scans of the brain are described in the literature and suggest a more extensive neurological damage. This is a cross-sectional study, conducted between March 17th and September 28th, 2012 in the GIPH cohort, Brazil. HAM was diagnosed on the basis of the World Health Organization diagnostic clinical criteria. MRIs of the brain axial in T1-weighted Flair, fast spin-echo T2-weighted fat-suppressed, T2-weighted Flair and diffusion weighted EPI were performed. Blinded interpretation of MRIs was performed by radiologists who did not know clinical neurologic status of the participants. Fazekas scale (0-4) was used to classify the changes in brain signal intensity. In the 120 participants the mean age of the group was 48.0 ± 12.8 years (range: 16.4 to 72.6 years), no statistically significant difference between the mean ages of the HAM and asymptomatic groups (p = 0.7). Women were 77 (64.2%) of patients and HAM was diagnosed in 19 (15.8%). Change of signal intensity at MRIs was observed in 48 (47%) asymptomatic group and 11 (57%) HAM group (p = 0.4). Both groups showed Fazekas evaluation from 0 until 3, without statistically significant differences between them (p > 0.05). The alteration of signal intensity on MRIs of the brain of individuals HTLV-1 seropositive asymptomatic and with HAM were not statistically significant. As a continuation of this study, we are going to compare these findings with a group of controls without HTLV-1 infection.