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Alterations in subcortical brain structures have been reported in adults with HIV and, to a lesser extent, pediatric cohorts. The extent of longitudinal structural abnormalities in children with perinatal HIV infection (PaHIV) remains unclear. We modeled subcortical morphometry from whole brain structural magnetic resonance imaging (1.5 T) scans of 43 Thai children with PaHIV (baseline age = 11.09±2.36 years) and 50 HIV− children (11.26±2.80 years) using volumetric and surface-based shape analyses. The PaHIV sample were randomized to initiate combination antiretroviral treatment (cART) when CD4 counts were 15–24% (immediate: n = 22) or when CD4 < 15% (deferred: n = 21). Follow-up scans were acquired approximately 52 weeks after baseline. Volumetric and shape descriptors capturing local thickness and surface area dilation were defined for the bilateral accumbens, amygdala, putamen, pallidum, thalamus, caudate, and hippocampus. Regression models adjusting for clinical and demographic variables examined between and within group differences in morphometry associated with HIV. We assessed whether baseline CD4 count and cART status or timing associated with brain maturation within the PaHIV group. All models were adjusted for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate. A pallidal subregion was significantly thinner in children with PaHIV. Regional thickness, surface area, and volume of the pallidum was associated with CD4 count in children with PaHIV. Longitudinal morphometry was not associated with HIV or cART status or timing, however, the trajectory of the left pallidum volume was positively associated with baseline CD4 count. Our findings corroborate reports in adult cohorts demonstrating a high predilection for HIV-mediated abnormalities in the basal ganglia, but suggest the effect of stable PaHIV infection on morphological aspects of brain development may be subtle.

Publication Date

January 2019

Publication Title

NeuroImage: Clinical



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Pediatrics Commons



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