What is the role of CSF analysis in the workup of cytomegalovirus (CMV) encephalitis in HIV?

Updated: Jan 08, 2020
  • Author: Regina Krel, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis not only can point to the correct diagnosis but also permits exclusion of other diagnostic considerations. Typical CSF findings are an elevated protein level and mononuclear leukocytosis. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be detected by means of culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), CMV antigen testing, or cytology. In patients without CMV infection, CMV is rarely detected by PCR in the CSF. PCR of the CSF may help confirm the diagnosis.

Electrolyte disturbances (eg, hyponatremia) consistent with adrenal insufficiency may be observed.

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