Human immunodeficiency virus—associated myopathy: Analysis of 11 patients

David M. Simpson, Adam N. Bender

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195 Scopus citations


Neuromuscular disorders reported in association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection include several forms of peripheral neuropathy and polymyositis. We report 11 patients with HIV‐associated myopathy. Five patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), 2 with AIDS‐related complex, and 4 otherwise asymptomatic HIV‐infected patients developed progressive proximal muscle weakness. Serum creatine phosphokinase levels were elevated and electromyography revealed abnormal spontaneous activity and myopathy in most patients. All 8 muscle biopsy specimens showed fiber necrosis. Four had inflammatory infiltrates, and nemaline rod bodies were prominent in 3. Immunosuppressant therapy in 5 patients resulted in improvement. Attempts at viral localization in 4 muscle biopsy specimens were unsuccessful. These findings suggest a distinct association between HIV infection and myopathy with features atypical for polymyositis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1988


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