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Background Recently, antibodies against the alpha isoform of the glial-fibrillary-acidic-protein (GFAPα) were identified in a small series of patients with encephalomyelitis. Coexisting autoantibodies (NMDA receptor, GAD65 antibodies) have been described in a few of these patients. We describe a patient with rapidly progressive encephalomyeloradiculitis and a combination of anti-ITPR1, anti-GFAP and anti-MOG antibodies. Case presentation and literature review A 44-year old caucasian woman with a flu-like prodrome presented with meningism, progressive cerebellar signs and autonomic symptoms, areflexia, quadriplegia and respiratory insufficiency. MRI showed diffuse bilateral T2w-hyperintense brain lesions in the cortex, white matter, the corpus callosum as well as a longitudinal lesion of the medulla oblongata and the entire spinal cord. Anti-ITPR1, anti-GFAP and anti-MOG antibodies were detected in cerebrospinal fluid along with lymphocytic pleocytosis. Borderline tumor of the ovary was diagnosed. Thus, the disease of the patient was deemed to be paraneoplastic. The patient was treated by surgical removal of tumor, steroids, immunoglobulins, plasma exchange and rituximab. Four months after presentation, the patient was still tetraplegic, reacted with mimic expressions to pain or touch and could phonate solitary vowels. An extensive literature research was performed. Conclusion Our case and the literature review illustrate that multiple glial and neuronal autoantibodies can co-occur, that points to a paraneoplastic etiology, above all ovarian teratoma or thymoma. Clinical manifestation can be a mixture of typically associated syndromes, e.g. ataxia associated with anti-ITPR1 antibodies, encephalomyelitis with anti-GFAPα antibodies and longitudinal extensive myelitis with anti-MOG antibodies.
Cirkel, A., Wandinger, K.-P., Ditz, C., Leppert, J., Hanker, L., Cirkel, C., … Royl, G. (2021). Paraneoplastic encephalomyeloradiculits with multiple autoantibodies against ITPR-1, GFAP and MOG: case report and literature review. Neurological Research and Practice, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42466-021-00145-w