Importance: Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is an opportunistic infection caused by the JC virus that has no proven effective treatment. Although rare cases of PML have occurred with other anti-CD20 therapies, there had been no prior cases associated with ocrelizumab. Objective: To report the first ever case of PML occurring with ocrelizumab monotherapy in a patient with progressive multiple sclerosis without prior immunomodulation. Design, Setting, and Participant: This case was reported from an academic medical center. The patient had multiple sclerosis while receiving ocrelizumab monotherapy. Exposures: Ocrelizumab monotherapy. Results: A 78-year-old man with progressive multiple sclerosis treated with ocrelizumab monotherapy for 2 years presented with 2 weeks of progressive visual disturbance and confusion. Examination demonstrated a right homonymous hemianopia, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed an enlarging nonenhancing left parietal lesion without mass effect. Cerebrospinal fluid revealed 1000 copies/mL of JC virus, confirming the diagnosis of PML. Blood work on diagnosis revealed grade 2 lymphopenia, with absolute lymphocyte count of 710/μL, CD4 of 294/μL (reference range, 325-1251/μL), CD8 of 85/μL (reference range, 90-775/μL), CD19 of 1/μL, preserved CD4/CD8 ratio (3.45), and negative HIV serology. Retrospective absolute lymphocyte count revealed intermittent grade 1 lymphopenia that preceded ocrelizumab (absolute lymphocyte count range, 800-1200/μL). The patient's symptoms progressed over weeks to involve bilateral visual loss, right-sided facial droop, and dysphasia. Ocrelizumab was discontinued and off-label pembrolizumab treatment was initiated. The patient nevertheless declined rapidly and ultimately died. PML was confirmed at autopsy. Conclusions and Relevance: In this case report, PML occurrence was likely a result of the immunomodulatory function of ocrelizumab as well as age-related immunosenescence. This case report emphasizes the importance of a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of ocrelizumab, especially in patients at higher risk for infections such as elderly patients..
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology