HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy (HAM) Incidence in Asymptomatic Carriers and Intermediate Syndrome (IS) Patients

by | May 24, 2024 | Publications

Pathogens. 2024 May 13;13(5):403. doi: 10.3390/pathogens13050403.


Several studies suggest that HTLV-1 infection may be associated with a wider spectrum of neurological and clinical manifestations that do not meet diagnostic criteria for HAM. These conditions may later progress to HAM or constitute an intermediate clinical form: intermediate syndrome (IS), a mid-point between asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers and those with full myelopathy. Thus, we determined the incidence of HAM cases in the HTLV-1-asymptomatic and IS patients, and the clinical/laboratory associated markers. A total of 204 HTLV-1-positive patients were included in this study, divided into two groups: Group 1, including 145 asymptomatic HTLV-1 subjects (ASY), and Group 2, including 59 patients with inflammatory clinical symptoms in more than three systems and a high proviral load (PVL). During a 60-month follow-up time, with the age ranging from 47 to 79 years, ten patients of the fifty-nine initially diagnosed as IS developed HAM (iHAM), and two patients of the initial 145 ASY developed HAM directly. Women were more prevalent in all groups. For the iHAM patients, the age ranged from 20 to 72 years, with a mean of 53 (±15 SD). Older age was associated with the development of HAM, higher PVL and IS; however, there was no any specific symptom or clinical sign, that was associated with risk for iHAM. In conclusion, IS cases could be an early phase of development of HAM. These findings show the presence of higher incidence probabilities in our cohort than previously reported.

PMID:38787255 | DOI:10.3390/pathogens13050403

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