An effective immunotherapy regimen for VGKC antibody-positive limbic encephalitis
ABSTRACT Voltage-gated potassium channel antibody-positive limbic encephalitis (VGKC+LE) frequently improves with immunotherapy, although the optimum regimen is unknown. The effectiveness of a combination immunomodulatory regimen was tested in consecutive VGKC+LE patients.
This was an open-label prospective study of nine VGKC+LE patients. All patients had plasma exchange (50 ml/kg), intravenous immunoglobulin (2 g/kg) and intravenous methylprednisolone (1 g×3), followed by maintenance oral prednisolone (1 mg/kg/day). Mycophenolate (2 g/day) was used in the first three patients. Assessments included serial clinical, cognitive, brain MRI and VGKC antibody testing.
Within 1 week, seizures and hyponatraemia remitted in all affected patients. Cognitive function improved in all patients within 3 months. MRI appearances improved substantially within 9 months, with remission of inflammation in the majority of patients. All achieved immunological remission with normal VGKC antibody titres within 1-4 months. Major adverse events of therapy included one septicaemia and one thrombosis on plasma exchange and one death from sepsis after incidental bowel surgery. One patient remains in remission after 40 months of follow up, 26 months after being off all treatment.
Our immunotherapy regimen was effective for the treatment of the clinical, cognitive and immunological features of VGKC+LE. Radiological improvement was seen in the majority. Pending randomised controlled trials, this regimen is proposed for the treatment of VGKC+LE.
SourceAvailable from: Sarosh R Irani
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ABSTRACT: Acquired diseases classically associated with VGKC-complex antibodies include peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH), Morvan's syndrome, limbic encephalitis (LE), and epilepsy. However, not all such patients have VGKC-complex antibodies and antibodies have been reported in patients without a defined immune-mediated syndrome. To analyse the clinical relevance of positive VGKC-complex antibodies requested on the basis of initial clinical suspicion. We retrospectively analysed patients with positive VGKC-complex antibodies (>100 pM) referred to our institution between 2001 and 2011. 1,614 VGKC-complex assays were performed in 1,298 patients. Titres >100 pM were detected in 57/1,298 (4 %) patients. A classic VGKC-complex channelopathy (60 %) was associated with VGKC-complex antibody titres >400 pM (p = 0.0004). LGI1 or CASPR2 antibodies were only detected in classic VGKC-complex channelopathies (LE; n = 3/4 and PNH; n = 1/5). VGKC-complex antibody titres <400 pM were seen with PNH (n = 15/22; 68 %) but also a heterogeneous range of central and/or peripheral nervous system disorders. Electromyography was supportive of PNH in 65 % of cases and symptomatic treatment was beneficial in 46 % of patients. Irrespective of titre, the rate of malignancy in patients with VGKC-complex antibodies was higher than the age-matched national incidence of malignancy (OR 19.9, 95 % CI 8.97-44.0 p<0.0001). Clinical phenotyping and antibody titres >400 pM can help determine VGKC-complex antibody relevance. Antibody titres <400 pM are associated with PNH but also a more heterogeneous clinical spectrum. The antibody association in the latter is of doubtful clinical relevance. The rate of malignancy was significantly higher than the national incidence irrespective of titre.Journal of Neurology 11/2014; 262(2). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7588-0 · 3.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We describe a patient who developed significant cognitive decline with profound amnesia following non-dominant temporal lobectomy for refractory seizures, in whom the original suspicion of structural pathology was revised following the discovery of clinical and neuropathological markers of inflammation, neuropsychological evidence of bilateral involvement, and high titres of antibodies directed against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). This case adds to the evidence that the diagnosis of non-paraneoplastic anti-GAD limbic encephalitis merits consideration in any patient with a refractory seizure disorder and cognitive decline.Case Reports in Neurology 01/2014; 6(3):251-255. DOI:10.1159/000369058