Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20967. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020967. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Improved survival of HIV-1-infected patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy receiving early 5-drug combination antiretroviral therapy.

Author information

Service de Médecine Interne et de Maladies Infectieuses, Hôpital Universitaire de Bicêtre-Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.



Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare devastating demyelinating disease caused by the polyomavirus JC (JCV), occurs in severely immunocompromised patients, most of whom have advanced-stage HIV infection. Despite combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), 50% of patients die within 6 months of PML onset. We conducted a multicenter, open-label pilot trial evaluating the survival benefit of a five-drug cART designed to accelerate HIV replication decay and JCV-specific immune recovery.


All the patients received an optimized cART with three or more drugs for 12 months, plus the fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide during the first 6 months. The main endpoint was the one-year survival rate. A total of 28 patients were enrolled. At entry, median CD4+ T-cell count was 53 per microliter and 86% of patients had detectable plasma HIV RNA and CSF JCV DNA levels. Seven patients died, all before month 4. The one-year survival estimate was 0.75 (95% confidence interval, 0.61 to 0.93). At month 6, JCV DNA was undetectable in the CSF of 81% of survivors. At month 12, 81% of patients had undetectable plasma HIV RNA, and the median CD4+ T-cell increment was 105 per microliter. In univariate analysis, higher total and naive CD4+ T-cell counts and lower CSF JCV DNA level at baseline were associated with better survival. JCV-specific functional memory CD4+ T-cell responses, based on a proliferation assay, were detected in 4% of patients at baseline and 43% at M12 (P = 0.008).


The early use of five-drug cART after PML diagnosis appears to improve survival. This is associated with recovery of anti-JCV T-cell responses and JCV clearance from CSF. A low CD4+ T-cell count (particularly naive subset) and high JCV DNA copies in CSF at PML diagnosis appear to be risk factors for death.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center