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Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 in Adult
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Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 in Adult

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Contributors: Nina Haghi MD, Carla Casulo MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
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Synopsis

Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus prevalent in East Africa, China, and South Asia. It has 2 major disease associations: adult T-cell leukemia / lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy (HAM), also known as tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP). This retrovirus is transmitted by blood transfusion, needle sharing, and breastfeeding. Additionally, it can be transferred by tissue donation and via sexual contact and occupational exposure in health care workers. Transmission can also occur from nonhuman primates in endemic regions of Africa.

HTLV-1 virus is associated with ATL, a proliferation of CD4+ T-cells that can present in various forms. The lifetime risk of developing ATL after infection with HTLV-1 is approximately 2%-5%, and development occurs about 20-30 years after initial infection. The acute form is seen in most cases and has an aggressive course (approximate 6-month survival) presenting with skin lesions, hypercalcemia, bone lesions, and pulmonary infiltrates. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement can also occur. The lymphomatous form presents with lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and skin lesions. The chronic form has a slightly longer prognosis (approximately 2-year survival) and presents without hypercalcemia, CNS involvement, or gastrointestinal involvement. The smoldering form is the least common and has the best prognosis (survival of approximately 5 years); it is limited to skin and lung involvement only.

HTLV-1 is also associated with HAM. It is characterized by slow-onset weakness and spasticity in the lower extremities, hyperreflexia, back pain, urinary frequency / incontinence, paresthesias, and sensory changes. The upper limbs are spared. HAM occurs more commonly in women, and its severity is related to the proviral load found in the CNS.

Related topic: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 2

Codes

ICD10CM:
B97.33 – Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus, type I [HTLV-I] as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere

SNOMEDCT:
429659006  – Human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1 infection

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Last Reviewed: 04/25/2019
Last Updated: 05/22/2019
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Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 in Adult
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