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Neuroleptic malignant-like syndrome with a slight elevation of creatine-kinase levels and respiratory failure in a patient with Parkinson's disease

Authors Wei L, Chen Y

Received 13 December 2013

Accepted for publication 13 January 2014

Published 27 February 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 271—273


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Li Wei,1,2 Yinghui Chen1,2

1Department of Neurology, Jinshan Hospital, 2Department of Neurology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Neuroleptic malignant-like syndrome (NMLS) is a rare but catastrophic complication of drug treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD). Sudden withdrawal and abrupt reduction of antiparkinsonian drugs are major risk factors. Just as its name suggests, the clinical features of NMLS are similar to neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which is a dangerous adverse response to antipsychotic drugs. Both of these conditions can present with hyperthermia, marked muscle rigidity, altered consciousness, autonomic dysfunction, and elevated serum creatine-kinase (CK) levels. However, we describe a special NMLS case with a slight elevation of CK levels and respiratory failure in the full course of her treatment. The patient, a 68-year-old woman with a 4-years history of Parkinson's disease, presented with hyperthermia and severe muscular rigidity. During the course of her treatment, her maximum temperature was extremely high (above 41°C). At the beginning, the diagnosis of NMLS secondary to dopamine decrease was difficult to make, because her initial blood examination revealed that her serum CK levels were mildly elevated and decreased to normal range rapidly. Although antiparkinsonian drugs and supportive treatment were applied, the patient developed an acute respiratory failure in the early course of treatment. This case report highlights that when confronted with Parkinson's patients with high body temperature and muscle rigidity, NMLS should be taken into consideration even if there is no CK elevation. Likewise, the need for supportive care is essential, because its complications are severe, even such as respiratory failure.

Keywords: antiparkinsonian drugs, creatine kinase, parkinsonism–hyperpyrexia syndrome, respiratory failure

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