Neuropathologic verification of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the exhumed American recipient of human pituitary growth hormone: Epidemiologic and pathogenetic implications

R. Tintner, P. Brown, E. T. Hedley-Whyte, E. B. Rappaport, C. P. Piccardo, D. C. Gajdusek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Beginning at age 12, a boy with idiopathic hypopituitarism was treated with cadaver pituitary-derived human growth hormone during the period from 1963 to 1969. Fifteen years after the last treatment, the then 32-year-old man developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The illness was atypical in showing predominantly cerebellar signs, little mental deterioration, and no abnormal movements or periodic EEG activity. Examination of the embalmed brain, 7 months after interment, revealed the characteristic changes of CJD mainly in the cerebellum and basal ganglia. This case establishes the contamination of at least two American lots of human growth hormone and, together with other cases of iatrogenic disease, suggests that virus enters the brain from the blood, rather than along neural pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-936
Number of pages5
JournalNeurology
Volume36
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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