Primary CNS lymphoma

Primary CNS lymphomas (PCNSL) are a late complication of HIV infection and used to occur in up to 10 %> of AIDS patients. The incidence of PCNSL has decreased significantly in the last years in comparison to systemic lymphomas.

PCNSL are EBV-associated in almost 100 %> of cases (Camilleri-Broet 1997), and histologically are mainly diffuse, large-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. The CD4 cells are almost always below 50/^l at the time of diagnosis. In the pre-HAART era, PCNSL had the poorest prognosis of all the AIDS-defining illnesses, with a median survival of less than three months (Fine and Maher 1993). In the last years, this bleak picture, often characterized by therapeutic nihilism, has changed significantly. In the HAART-era, survival may be several years and even complete remissions have become possible (Hoffmann 2001).

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