BACKGROUND - HIV-associated dementia (HIV-D) is a subcortical dementia consisting of cognitive and motor symptoms that ultimately affects as many as 20% of patients with AIDS and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. With the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the use of sensitive and efficient screening tests for HIV-D continue to be needed for identifying individuals who develop this disorder.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of this study was to compare the HIV Dementia Scale (HDS) with comprehensive neuropsychological procedures in detecting both minor cognitive and motor disorder (MCMD) and HIV-D in a population of patients with varying durations of HAART.
METHODS - Forty-six HIV-seropositive patients completed both the HDS and a battery of neuropsychological tests as they enrolled in a MRI study. Each person was also assigned a MSK score based on clinical neurological examination. HDS score of
RESULTS - Using the average NPZ8 score based on American Academy of Neurology consensus criteria yielded a test sensitivity of 30%, a specificity of 0%, a positive predictive value of 0%, and a negative predictive value of 58% when compared to clinical MSK ratings. Comparison of the number of impaired tests with MSK severity yielded a test sensitivity of 43%, a specificity of 91%, a positive predictive value of 83%, and a negative predictive value of 61%. HDS scores were less efficient in predicting the presence of subtle and mild HIV-D in this sample.
CONCLUSION - While the HDS is a useful bedside test that a physician may quickly administer to HIV seropositive patients to assist in diagnosing suspected cases of frank HIV-D, the HDS, as a screen, is not as accurate in detecting HIV-D as a more thorough neuropsychological examination. With an increasing prevalence of HIV-D and minor cognitive/motor disorder (MCMD) following the introduction of HAART, the development of more sensitive bedside measures is essential in order to identify individuals with these disorders and monitor treatment regimens.