Immunological and clinical consequences of splenectomy in a multiple sclerosis patient treated with natalizumab
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2013, 10:123 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-10-123
Here we report a case of a splenectomized white woman with natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), occurring as early as after 11 infusions and provide blood fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analyses before and after natalizumab treatment.
This is a report of a single case with immunological studies.
Methods comprised neurologic examination, magnetic resonance imaging, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies as well as immune cell FACS analyses from blood.
Diagnosis of PML was established after positive John Cunningham virus (JCV) DNA was detected in the CSF. An immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome was treated with repeated cycles of steroid pulses and intravenous immunoglobulins. Reduced numbers of memory B cells, which might play an important role in antiviral immune response, were detected in the blood. Moreover the percentage of CD19+ B cells was elevated in our post-splenectomy patient as compared to a control cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients under natalizumab therapy.
Splenectomy may increase the risk for the development of natalizumab-associated PML via effects on the B cell compartment. It may be regarded as a risk factor in MS patients independent from the duration of disease.
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