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Failure to improve after ovarian resection could be a marker of recurrent ovarian teratoma in anti-NMDAR encephalitis: a case report

Authors Uchida Y, Kato D, Yamashita Y, Ozaki Y, Matsukawa N

Received 9 November 2017

Accepted for publication 19 December 2017

Published 22 January 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 339—342


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Yuto Uchida,1 Daisuke Kato,1 Yoriko Yamashita,2 Yasuhiko Ozaki,3 Noriyuki Matsukawa1

1Department of Neurology, 2Department of Experimental Pathology, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan

Abstract: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is a type of autoimmune encephalitis that can be paraneoplastic and usually responds to tumor resection and immunotherapy. More than 75% of patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis fully recover or have only mild sequelae, whereas the remainder experience severe disability. It remains unknown why certain cases have refractory clinical disease courses. We report a case of anti-NMDAR encephalitis with bilateral ovarian teratomas who was refractory to tumor resection and early initiation of immunotherapy. During intensive care, immunohistochemical analyses of her cerebrospinal fluid showed persistently high reactivity of NMDAR antibody over time. Six months after the operation, pelvic computed tomography detected a recurrent ovarian teratoma. After total enucleation of the bilateral ovaries, with significant pathological findings of bilateral mature cystic teratomas, her clinical condition improved rapidly, paralleled by a decrease in anti-NMDAR reactivity. This case illustrates the need to keep considering why extensive treatment fails to influence the disease when we encounter patients with refractory anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Failure to improve after ovarian resection could be a marker of recurrent ovarian teratoma in anti-NMDAR encephalitis.

Keywords: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, antibody, autoimmune encephalitis, refractory, recurrence

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