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September 1971

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy

Author Affiliations

Iowa City

From the departments of neurology and pathology (Neuropathology), University of Iowa ology lege of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;128(3):420-426. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310210096010

In 1958, Åström et al1 described three cases of a clinically progressive, asymmetric disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) which they named "progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy" (PML). This disorder was associated with Hodgkin's disease and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in their patients. In reviewing the literature at that time, they found five additional cases which fulfilled their criteria for PML.2-5

Since 1958, many additional cases of PML associated with a variety of underlying disease processes have been described.6-56 The purpose of the present report is to describe a new case of PML occurring in a patient with macroglobulinemia, an association not previously reported. Clinical, pathological, and virologic findings are described.

Patient Summary  A 61-year-old white man was first seen in a local hospital in December 1958 complaining of shortness of breath and abdominal distension. Physical examination revealed a right upper quadrant abdominal mass and a right pleural

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