Heterogeneity of clinical features and corresponding antibodies in seven patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis

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Abstract

© 2015 Spandidos Publications. All rights reserved. Anti-N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis is the most common type of encephalitis in the spectrum of autoimmune encephalitis defined by antibodies targeting neuronal surface antigens. In the present study, the clinical spectrum of this disease is presented using instructive cases in correlation with the anti-NMDA receptor antibody titers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum. A total of 7 female patients admitted to the hospital of Hannover Medical School (Hannover, Germany) between 2008 and 2014 were diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. Among these patients, 3 cases were selected to illustrate the range of similar and distinct clinical features across the spectrum of the disease and to compare anti-NMDA antibody levels throughout the disease course. All patients received immunosuppressive treatment with methylprednisolone, intravenous immunoglobulin and/or plasmapheresis, followed in the majority of patients by second-line therapy with rituximab and cyclophosphamide. The disease course correlated with NMDA receptor antibody titers, and to a greater extent with the ratio between antibody titer and protein concentration. A favorable clinical outcome with a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of ≤1 was achieved in 4 patients, 1 patient had an mRS score of 2 after 3 months of observation only, whereas 2 patients remained severely impaired (mRS score 4). Early and aggressive immunosuppressive treatment appears to support a good clinical outcome; however, the clinical signs and symptoms differ distinctively and treatment decisions have to be made on an individual basis.

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Sühs, K. W., Wegner, F., Skripuletz, T., Trebst, C., Tayeb, S. B., Raab, P., & Stangel, M. (2015). Heterogeneity of clinical features and corresponding antibodies in seven patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 10(4), 1283–1292. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2015.2689

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