Progressive Small-Vessel Strokes Following Antiretroviral Therapy in a Patient with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Tomoya Shibahara, Kuniyuki Nakamura, Daisuke Abe, Naoki Tagawa, Yoshinobu Wakisaka, Takanari Kitazono, Tetsuro Ago

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We report a case of a 59-year-old man with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) who developed multiple small-vessel strokes during the immune reconstitution phase. The patient had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS with a low CD4 count and high viral load and started combinational antiretroviral therapy (cART) with raltegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate seven months before the admission. He was admitted to our hospital with complaints of mild dysarthria and left-sided hemiparesis, but lacking consciousness/cognitive disturbances. Diffusion-weighted images (DWI) revealed multiple areas of hyperintensity in the anterior circulation system of the brain. Because we identified decreased activity of protein S through extensive examinations, we treated him initially with intravenous infusion of heparin sodium and aspirin; however, DWI detected multiple progressive small-vessel strokes after that. We considered that the immune reconstitution accounted for the small-vessel vasculopathy/vasculitis, leading to ischemic stroke. Therefore, we initiated oral administration of prednisolone, which successfully prevented stroke recurrence. This report describes a case of multiple small-vessel strokes following cART for AIDS during the immune reconstitution phase, effectively treated with steroids, which may often go undiagnosed due to their relatively mild symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106409
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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