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      A case of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy while using rituximab and mycophenolate mofetil in refractory systemic lupus erythematosus

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          Abstract

          Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a central nervous system infection caused by John Cunningham (JC) virus reactivation in an immunocompromised patient. PML has various neurologic symptoms and has very poor prognosis. A 36-year-old man developed transverse myelitis and had a psychiatric disorder at the age of 26. He was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE), on the basis of leukopenia and presence of anti-DNA and anti-nuclear antibodies. Treatment with glucocorticoid (GC) was started, and remission was introduced. Six months before PML onset, his condition was complicated with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) due to exacerbation of SLE. Remission re-induction therapy by GC, cyclosporine-A, intravenous cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (RTX) was initiated and HLH improved. However, interleukin-6 levels of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) continued to rise. We thought that the disease activity of NPSLE worsened; thus, we introduced mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) 4 months before the PML onset. He developed progressive dysarthria and right hemiplegia. He was diagnosed with PML via magnetic resonance imaging and JC virus polymerase chain reaction in CSF. Considering that immunosuppressants, including RTX and MMF, are precipitating factors of PML, we discussed the RTX removal using plasma exchange (PEx), but we did not introduce PEx, because it was expected that the concentration of RTX was already lowered when he was diagnosed with PML. Treatment for PML with mefloquine and mirtazapine saved his life, but severe residual disabilities remained. This is the first report of a patient who developed PML during combination therapy with RTX and MMF.

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          The functional independence measure: a new tool for rehabilitation.

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            Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy associated with immunosuppressive therapy in rheumatic diseases: evolving role of biologic therapies.

            To evaluate the association of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) with immunosuppressive therapy for autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs). A Freedom of Information Act request was submitted for all cases of PML within the Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System database. ARD cases were selected for further analysis. A total of 34 confirmed cases of PML in the setting of ARDs were identified: 17 had systemic lupus erythematosus, 10 had rheumatoid arthritis, 4 had vasculitis, and 3 had dermatomyositis. Fifteen of these patients were treated with one or more biologic agents: 14 received rituximab (RTX), 6 received anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy (5 treated with anti-TNF agent prior to RTX). Four RTX-treated patients were not receiving additional immunosuppressive therapy at the time of PML onset, other than an antimalarial drug and/or low-dose glucocorticoids; all others who were receiving a biologic agent were also receiving one or more synthetic disease-modifying agents. All but 1 patient receiving a biologic agent had at least 1 potential confounding factor for the diagnosis of PML. The remaining 19 confirmed cases of PML among ARD patients were treated with synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs only, 14 of whom had received an alkylating agent. PML has been reported in patients with ARD treated with various immunosuppressive agents. The limitations of this study preclude definitive attribution of causality. While the paucity of confirmed cases recently exposed to anti-TNF therapy suggests a causal relationship is unlikely, a specific signal is emerging with regard to rituximab and PML. Although this is a rare adverse event associated with RTX therapy, the devastating nature of PML mandates continued vigilance, particularly in patients with current or prior exposure to an alkylating agent. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.
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              Identification and characterization of mefloquine efficacy against JC virus in vitro.

              Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a rare but frequently fatal disease caused by the uncontrolled replication of JC virus (JCV), a polyomavirus, in the brains of some immunocompromised individuals. Currently, no effective antiviral treatment for this disease has been identified. As a first step in the identification of such therapy, we screened the Spectrum collection of 2,000 approved drugs and biologically active molecules for their anti-JCV activities in an in vitro infection assay. We identified a number of different drugs and compounds that had significant anti-JCV activities at micromolar concentrations and lacked cellular toxicity. Of the compounds with anti-JCV activities, only mefloquine, an antimalarial agent, has been reported to show sufficiently high penetration into the central nervous system such that it would be predicted to achieve efficacious concentrations in the brain. Additional in vitro experiments demonstrated that mefloquine inhibits the viral infection rates of three different JCV isolates, JCV(Mad1), JCV(Mad4), and JCV(M1/SVEDelta), and does so in three different cell types, transformed human glial (SVG-A) cells, primary human fetal glial cells, and primary human astrocytes. Using quantitative PCR to quantify the number of viral copies in cultured cells, we have also shown that mefloquine inhibits viral DNA replication. Finally, we demonstrated that mefloquine does not block viral cell entry; rather, it inhibits viral replication in cells after viral entry. Although no suitable animal model of PML or JCV infection is available for the testing of mefloquine in vivo, our in vitro results, combined with biodistribution data published in the literature, suggest that mefloquine could be an effective therapy for PML.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2018
                26 June 2018
                : 14
                : 1149-1153
                Affiliations
                Department of Rheumatology, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan, kitayas@ 123456yokohamah.johas.go.jp
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yasuhiko Kita, Department of Rheumatology, Yokohama Rosai Hospital, 3211 Kozukue-cho, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 222-0036, Japan, Tel +81 45 474 8111, Fax +81 45 474 8323, Email kitayas@ 123456yokohamah.johas.go.jp
                Article
                tcrm-14-1149
                10.2147/TCRM.S167109
                6027819
                © 2018 Ishikawa et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Case Report

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