Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in HIV-1-infected children

J. R. Berger, G. Scott, J. Albrecht, A. L. Belman, C. Tornatore, E. O. Major

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the clinical and pathologic features of two HIV-1-infected children with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Design: Case report. Setting: University-affiliated, public-health trust hospital. Methods: Two HIV-1-infected children with PML are described. A 13-year-old girl, presumed to be congenially infected with HIV-1, presented with dysarthria and paresthesias of the tongue and chin that evolved rapidly to dementia, muteness and severe spastic quadriparesis. The other patient, a 10-year-old boy who developed HIV-1 infection from a blood transfusion at the age of 3 years, presented with a facial palsy with subsequent development of right hemiparesis and aphasia. Results: Brain biopsy in the first child and autopsy in the second confirmed the diagnosis of PML. In both patients, the CD4 T-lymphocyte count was < 100 x 106/l at the time of neurological presentation. Conclusion: Despite seroepidemiological studies suggesting that the majority of individuals are infected with JC virus during childhood, PML is rare in children with impaired cell-mediated immunity. Our patients illustrate that PML is among the neurological complications of HIV-1 infection in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-841
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1992


  • AIDS
  • Children
  • HIV-1
  • JC virus
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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