Manoj Kumar Sarma1, Rajakumar Nagarajan1, April Thames2, Vanessa Streiff3, Tim Arentsen3, Stella Panos, Jason Smith3, Charles H. Hinkin2, 3, M. Albert Thomas1
1Radiological Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States; 2Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States; 3VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Service, Los Angeles, CA, United States
The synergistic effects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection on Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains poorly understood with only a few studies on neuropsychological sequelae. Here, using diffusion tensor imaging and employing an automated atlas based analysis, we examined the neurostructural effects of HCV mono-infection and HIV/HCV co-infection through two markers, mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA). We investigated sixteen HCV mono-infected, eleven HIV/HCV co-infected, and fifteen healthy controls. We found widespread brain regions with elevation of MD and increase/decrease of FA values in both HCV/HIV co-infected and HCV mono-infected adults relative to healthy controls. The decrease in white matter (WM) integrity is best seen in increases in MD. Indications of WM axonal integrity present a more complicated picture, with both increased and decreased FA.