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progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy


Definition: a rare, afebrile, fatal disease caused by the human polyomavirus JC; clinically characterized by progressive, widespread neurologic deficits, including impairment of higher cortical functions, visual problems, hemiparesis, and cerebellar dysfunction; pathologically consists of multiple disseminated areas of demyelination surrounded by markedly altered neuroglia; typically occurs in patients with disturbed immune systems (those with AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, or those receiving immunosuppressive therapy).

Synonym(s): progressive subcortical encephalopathy

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.