Clinical epidemiology and survival of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy: data from the Italian Registry Investigative Neuro AIDS (IRINA)

J Neurovirol. 2003;9 Suppl 1:47-53. doi: 10.1080/13550280390195388.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) remains a relevant clinical problem even in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Aims of the study were to analyze clinical and treatment-related features and the survival probability of PML patients observed within the Italian Registry Investigative Neuro AIDS (IRINA) during a 29-month period of HAART. Intravenous drug use, the presence of focal signs, and the involvement of white matter at neuroradiology increased the risk of having PML. A reduced probability of PML was observed when meningeal signs were reported. Patients starting HAART at PML diagnosis and previously naïve for antiretrovirals showed significantly higher 1-year probability of survival (.58), compared to those continuing HAART (.24), or never receiving HAART (.00). Higher CD4 cell count were associated with a higher survival probability (.45). At multivariate analysis, a younger age, higher CD4, starting HAART at PML diagnosis, the absence of previous acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining events, and the absence of a severe neurologic impairment were all associated with a reduced hazard of death. The use of cidofovir showed a trend towards a reduced risk of death.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / mortality*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / diagnosis
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / drug therapy*
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / mortality*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Survival Analysis