Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infections are associated with varying degrees of HTLV-1 viral load and spasticity. Increased viral load is associated with higher risk of developing HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The authors performed a cross-sectional study of 24 people with HAM/TSP in Lima, Perú, to determine if higher HTLV-1 viral load was correlated with increased muscle tone, measured with a device providing quantitative spasticity assessment (QSA). Median HTLV-1 viral load was 17.0 copies/100 peripheral blood mononuclear cells and QSA value was 39.9 Newton-meters/radian. HTLV-1 viral load was significantly correlated with QSA value (Spearman rho = .48, P = .02), suggesting viral load may play a role in expression of symptomatic neurologic disease. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine if treatments that reduce viral load will reduce muscle tone.
- Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)
- Tropical spastic paraparesis