Author(s): Armangue T, Titulaer MJ, Mlaga I, Bataller L, Gabilondo I,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To report the clinical features of 20 pediatric patients with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis. STUDY DESIGN: Review of clinical data, long-term follow-up, and immunologic studies performed in a single center in Spain in the last 4 years. RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 13 years (range, 8 months-18 years), 70\% were female. In 12 patients (60\%), the initial symptoms were neurologic, usually dyskinesias or seizures, and in the other 40\% psychiatric. One month into the disease, all patients had involuntary movements and alterations of behavior and speech. All patients received steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin or plasma exchange, and 7 rituximab or cyclophosphamide. With a median follow up of 17.5 months, 85\% had substantial recovery, 10\% moderate or severe deficits, and 1 died. Three patients had previous episodes compatible with anti-NMDAR encephalitis, 2 of them with additional relapses after the diagnosis of the disorder. Ovarian teratoma was identified in 2 patients, 1 at onset of encephalitis and the other 1 year later. Two novel observations (1 patient each) include, the identification of an electroencephalographic pattern ("extreme delta brush") considered characteristic of this disorder, and the development of anti-NMDAR encephalitis as post herpes simplex encephalitis choreoathetosis. CONCLUSIONS: The initial symptoms of pediatric anti-NMDAR encephalitis vary from those of the adults (more neurologic and less psychiatric in children), the development of a mono-symptomatic illness is extremely rare (except in relapses), and most patients respond to treatment. Our study suggests a link between post herpes simplex encephalitis choreoathetosis and anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Pediatr
and referenced in Brain Disorders & Therapy