BK virus-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Kathryn L Daveson, Chong W Ong, Scott Bowden, Mark E Koina and Lavinia A Hallam
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10072
Published online: 4 March 2013

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is associated with the polyomavirus JC virus, while BK virus is causative of polyomavirus-associated nephropathy. We report the first definitive case of BK virus-associated PML. This case highlights the importance of biopsy for aetiologic diagnosis in the setting of viral latency and the absence of clear T-cell dysfunction or biologic therapy.

A 71-year-old woman with a low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma was referred by her haematologist for investigation of a 2-week history of progressive apraxia and right-sided neglect. Her past medical history also included Sjögren syndrome and hypogammaglobulinaemia. Her non-Hodgkin lymphoma was complicated by bone marrow infiltration, low-grade lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. She had received oral chlorambucil 3 years before, but had not been on any therapy for the past 18 months as her disease was stable. She was receiving 6-weekly immunoglobulin infusions at the time of admission.

  • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Canberra Hospital and Health Services, Canberra, ACT.
  • 2 Molecular Microbiology Laboratory, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Department of Anatomical Pathology, Canberra Hospital and Health Services, Canberra, ACT.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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