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J Neurovirol. 2003;9 Suppl 1:88-92.

The evolving face of human immunodeficiency virus-related progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: defining a consensus terminology.

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Clinic of Infectious Diseases, San Raffaele Hospital, Milano, Italy.


There is a need for consistent definition of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), especially following the profound disease changes that have resulted from the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). According to the criteria used for diagnosis, PML cases should be either referred to as "histology-confirmed," with evidence of JC virus (JCV) infection in brain, "laboratory-confirmed," with detection of JCV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or "possible," in the presence of typical clinical and radiological picture, but no demonstration of JCV infection. Disease outcome should be defined by the evidence or lack of evidence of disease activity, rather than using survival or other variables. Disease activity should be based on clinical (scored neurological examination), radiological (magnetic resonance imaging), and virological (JCV DNA levels in CSF) indicators, to be assessed regularly, e.g., every 3 months until evidence of disease arrest or death. Furthermore, parallel assessments of other HIV-associated manifestations, including CD4+ cell counts and viral load, are required. A standard patient classification would be helpful for clinical management of PML patients, for their inclusion in clinical studies, and also will increase our current knowledge of PML and its evolution in relation with HAART.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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