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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Stroke & HIV
May 27, 2000

On May 8th I had a mini-stroke (TIA) and ended up in the ER. The CT scan (wo contrast) did not show anything. Subsequently, my doctor had a sonogram of my carotid arteries done and sent me to see a Neurologist. The sonogram showed no blockage and the Neurologist's exam was "normal," but he suggested an MRI & MRA -- I can't afford either. I seem to have a residual, dull headache and pain in the back of my neck (which is probably stress).

What's your experience with stroke & HIV? Resource?

Response from Dr. Henry

We have had several patients have TIAs/strokes in the setting of HIV without obvious other risk factors (ie high blood pressure). We have found AV malformation or small aneurysms in several of those cases which were corrected with specific interventions. Several cases have been idiopathic. HIV might be associated with a vasculopathy = damage to the blood vessels themselves. Control of blood pressure, decrease /stop smoking, control of HIV would be the cornerstones of decreasing the chances for a re-occurence though preferably you could get a brain imaging study (to save money get the one that a neurologist would recommend). Keith Henry, M.D.

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