Toxoplasma encephalitis is a common presentation of Toxoplasma gondii infection of the central nervous system in the late stage of human immunodeficiency viral (HIV) infection. The definitive diagnosis requires demonstration of toxoplasma in brain tissue. However, neuroradiologic demonstration (using Computed Tomography or Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of ring-enhanced multiple or single focal intracranial lesions in the presence of immunosuppression and prompt response to presumptive therapy are diagnostic in the absence of histological facilities. The rarity of toxoplasma lesions in the cerebellum prompts a high index of clinical suspicion and early institution of presumptive therapy in poor resource sub-Saharan countries like Nigeria.
To illustrate the presentation of recurrent cerebellar toxoplasmosis in a patient with HIV/AIDS.
A 34-year-old previously diagnosed HIV/AIDS male patient with right-sided cerebellar signs on neurological evaluation and a ring-enhancing lesion in the right cerebellar hemisphere on CT brain scan. An initial response to antitoxoplasmic drugs was short-lived due to poor compliance resulting in recurrence of lesion.
On initial evaluation a diagnosis of cerebellar space occupying lesion in a patient with HIV/AIDS was made. He responded to treatment with clindamycin, pyremethamine and pyridoxine. Following default in treatment for three months he represented with florid cerebellar features, but again responded rapidly to treatment.
Cerebellar toxoplasmosis is an infrequent complication of HIV/AIDS. Early diagnosis with neuro-imaging techniques and prompt institution of appropriate therapy results in remarkable improvement.