European radiology 2017 03 14() doi 10.1007/s00330-017-4772-5
The aim of this study was to test neurobiochemical changes in normal appearing brain tissue in HIV+ patients receiving and not receiving combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) and healthy controls, using multivoxel MR spectroscopy (mvMRS).
We performed long- and short-echo 3D mvMRS in 110 neuroasymptomatic subjects (32 HIV+ subjects on cART, 28 HIV+ therapy-naïve subjects and 50 healthy controls) on a 3T MR scanner, targeting frontal and parietal supracallosal subcortical and deep white matter and cingulate gyrus (NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr and mI/Cr ratios were analysed). The statistical value was set at p < 0.05. RESULTS
Considering differences between HIV-infected and healthy subjects, there was a significant decrease in the NAA/Cr ratio in HIV+ subjects in all observed locations, an increase in mI/Cr levels in the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG), and no significant differences in Cho/Cr ratios, except in ACG, where the increase showed trending towards significance in HIV+ patients. There were no significant differences between HIV+ patients on and without cART in all three ratios.
Neuronal loss and dysfunction affects the whole brain volume in HIV-infected patients. Unfortunately, cART appears to be ineffective in halting accelerated neurodegenerative process induced by HIV but is partially effective in preventing glial proliferation.
• This is the first multivoxel human brain 3T MRS study in HIV. • All observed areas of the brain are affected by neurodegenerative process. • Cingulate gyrus and subcortical white matter are most vulnerable to HIV-induced neurodegeneration. • cART is effective in control of inflammation but ineffective in preventing neurodegeneration.