Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: analysis of lesion development with diffusion-weighted MRI

Neuroradiology. 2003 Oct;45(10):717-21. doi: 10.1007/s00234-003-0966-4. Epub 2003 Aug 27.


Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by replication of JC virus in oligodendrocytes of immunocompromised patients, is diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction-based demonstration of JC virus DNA. We investigated whether MRI might be used to assess disease activity. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) was obtained in two patients with PML, in whom it was the only MRI sequence on which we could identify areas of progressive disease. The extent of abnormal diffusion appeared to correlate with the speed of clinical progression. DWI would thus seem to be of value in patients with PML.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / diagnosis*
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors