Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy and Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Associated Primary Cerebral Lymphoma

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From a cohort of 9621 human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected individuals, we identified 61 patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCL) who had a median survival of 1.3 months. We compared clinicopathologic variables of patients who were treated in the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HAART eras and investigated whether exposure to antiretroviral agents with differing cerebrospinal fluid penetrations was associated with risk for PCL. All statistical tests were two-sided. Incidence of PCL was lower in the HAART era (1.2 cases per 1000 patient-years, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.8 to 1.9) than in the pre-HAART era (three cases per 1000 years, 95% CI=2.1 to 4.0; P<.001), and overall survival was longer (median survival=32 days, range=5–315 days, versus 48 days, range=15–1136 days; log rank P=.03). In the HAART era, fewer patients had prior acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-defining illnesses than in the pre-HAART era (64% versus 90%; P=.013), and patients were more likely to have the diagnosis of PCL confirmed histologically or by polymerase chain reaction (77% versus 26%; P<.001). Exposure to specific antiretroviral agents was not associated with risk for PCL.

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