1992 Volume 31 Issue 11 Pages 1257-1261
Patients with progressive spastic paraparesis (PSP), commonly middle-aged women, are distributed throughout the country of Chile. During the three years from 1987 to 1990, we collected 83 cases of PSP from among 225 patients with various neurological diseases. The clinical picture was of a bilateral pyramidal syndrome, with sensory deficits in only 15.5% of the cases, and a slow illness progression in the majority of them. In patients with PSP, antibody to human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTL V-I) was analyzed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmed by western blot analysis. Forty-five (54.2%) patients were anti- HTLV-I antibody positive in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood. Among them, 2 patients had leukemia/lymphoma and one had Sjögren syndrome. In the laboratory study of seropositive PSP, mononuclear pleocytosis was found in 35.7% ; there was an abnormal increase of the IgG index in 66.6% and an increase in CD2 in blood and CSF, and CD4in blood. A delayed latency of somatosensory evoked potentials was observed in 90.9%. The neuropsychological study revealed a WAIS with a mean verbal IQ of 80.7 and a mean performance IQ of 84.8. The most impaired items were digit symbol and digit span. Seven subjects (18.9%) with anti-HTL V-I antibody were found among 37 relatives from 19 anti-HTL V-I positive cases of PSP.
(Internal Medicine 31 : 1257-1261, 1992)