The clinical histories and brain biopsy findings of 3 patients with
severe stealth virus encephalopathy are reviewed. The
patients initially developed symptoms consistent with a
chronic fatigue syndrome. One patient has remained in a
vegetative state for several years, while the other 2
patients have shown significant, although incomplete,
recovery. Histological and electron-microscopic studies
revealed vacuolated cells with distorted nuclei and various
cytoplasmic inclusions suggestive of incomplete viral
expression. There was no significant inflammatory response.
Viral cultures provided further evidence of stealth viral
infections occurring in these patients.