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Do I have to have a brain biopsy done?
Mar 4, 2010

Hello to my favorite doctor, Dr, Ben. As always, I have a question. I think I have, besides having aids, pml. What are my options? Will they have to do a brain biopsy?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your nice words.

The issue with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is that there are other potentially serious conditions that can have similar appearance on imaging studies-- these include other infections (like toxoplasmosis) and cancers (lymphoma). Being sure that the diagnosis is correct can be of critical importance-- and often requires a brain biopsy.

Before we had good treatment for HIV, PML was a devastating diagnosis. Fortunately, if the PML diagnosis is correct, initiation of HAART is usually associated with very good outcomes.

I hope this helps and wish you well. Write back anytime.

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