HTLV-III and Vacuolar Myelopathy

Leroy R. Sharer, Leon G. Epstein, Eun Sook Cho, Carol K. Petito, S. Przedborski, C. Liesnard, J. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To the Editor: The isolation of the retrovirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus Type III (HTLV-III) from brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and cerebrospinal fluid, as reported by Ho et al. (Dec. 12 issue),1 provides substantial support for the theory that this virus is neurotropic as well as lymphotropic. The authors report the isolation of HTLV-III from the lumbar spinal cord of a patient (their Patient 10) who had pathologically verified vacuolar myelopathy,2 and they conclude that the vacuolar myelopathy may have been a direct result of HTLV-III infection. Our own observations suggest an alternative explanation for these findings. Figure 1 shows inflammation….

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-63
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 3 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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