Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: clinical case presentation

Grigonytė Milda1, Grišiūtė Rūta1,3, Balčiūnas Lukas2,3 

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

3 Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinics, Center of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Therapy and Pain Management, Vilnius, Lithuania


Introduction. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy is a demyelinating, central nervous system-induced complication of human immunodeficiency virus disease. This disease is caused by a 2 polyomavirus, also known as John Cunningham virus. The disease most commonly presents with impaired cognitive, motor, and sensory functions, visual impairment, visual field deficits and ataxia. The disease is diagnosed on the basis of clinical symptoms and changes in radiological and laboratory tests. The gold diagnostic standard is brain biopsy. Treatment and prevention of the disease are based on effective antiretroviral therapy, but in severe forms of the disease, experimental treatment is possible.

Aim of the study. To present a clinical case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and to review the recent literature on the subject.

Methods. A review of the literature using the „PubMed“ database was performed to select publications that address the problem of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and present a clinical case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Conclusions. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy is relatively uncommon but may have serious consequences. This clinical case illustrates the aggressiveness and rapid progression of the disease. It also points to the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus, which is currently the mainstay of treatment for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Keywords: progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, human immunodeficiency virus, John Cunningham virus, central nervous system.