J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 79:1392-1394 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2008.147272
  • Short report

Brachial amyotrophic diplegia (segmental proximal spinal muscular atrophy) associated with HIV infection

  1. F Henning1,
  2. R H Hewlett2
  1. 1
    Division of Neurology, Private Bag X3, Tygerberg Hospital / Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa
  2. 2
    Richard H Hewlett, Clinical Neurosciences, Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences, Tygerberg, South Africa
  1. Franclo Henning, MD, Division of Neurology, Private Bag X3, Tygerberg Hospital / Stellenbosch University, 7505 Tygerberg, South Africa; fhenning{at}
  • Received 19 February 2008
  • Revised 2 April 2008
  • Accepted 2 April 2008


Several forms of motor neuron disease occurring in association with HIV infection have been described. Segmental proximal spinal muscular atrophy or brachial amyotrophic diplegia, a rare segmental variant of motor neuron disease with isolated bilateral upper extremity weakness, has previously been described in a single case report. We describe a patient who is HIV-seropositive presenting with this phenotype and illustrate novel findings on MRI of the cervical cord, consisting of focal atrophy and T2 hyperintense signal change involving the anterior grey matter. Additionally, a number of differences compared with patients without HIV presenting with this motor neuron disease variant are highlighted.


  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

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