Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1613–1615 | Cite as

BK-virus progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Marta MelisEmail author
  • Manuela Badiali
  • Teresa Peltz
  • Giovanni Cossu
  • Cristina Manieli
  • Francesca Gianno
  • Maurizio Melis
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a severe demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), fatal in some cases, and JC virus (JCV) is the usual cause [1].

BK virus (BKV) is a ubiquitous virus and its primary infection is generally asymptomatic. It occurs in childhood [2] and, as well as JCV, belongs to the Polyomaviridae family. Both viruses are associated with a clinical disease in the setting of immunosuppression: JCV commonly in association with PML, while BKV with nephropathy and hemorrhagic cystitis [2].

Here we report a rare case of BKV-associated PML in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Case report

A 60-year-old female, with a history of SLE since the age of 40 (on treatment with azatioprine and medrol for 2 years), developed a confusional state, weakness of lower extremities and personality change. She was admitted to the neurology department and underwent brain MRI (Fig.  1 )showing findings highly consistent with PML....


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SC Neurologia e Stroke Unit AO BrotzuUniversità degli Studi di Cagliari Dipartimento di Scienze mediche e Sanità PubblicaCagliariItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze mediche e Sanità PubblicaUniversità degli studi di CagliariCagliariItaly
  3. 3.Laboratorio di Genetica e Genomica, Ospedale Pediatrico Microcitemico A.CaoCagliariItaly
  4. 4.SC Radiologia AO BrotzuCagliariItaly
  5. 5.SC Anatomia Patologica AO BrotzuCagliariItaly
  6. 6.Dipartimento di Scienze Radiologiche, Oncologiche e Anatomo Patologiche Policlinico Umberto I RomaRomeItaly

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