Thursday, March 29, 2018

An infant born to a mother with anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis

Chourasia N, Watkins MW, Lankford JE, Kass JS, Kamdar A. An Infant Born to a Mother With Anti-N-Methyl-d-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis. Pediatr Neurol. 2018 Feb;79:65-68.


Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an autoimmune disorder that often affects women of childbearing age, and maternal-fetal transfer of anti-NMDAR antibodies during pregnancy has been documented in both symptomatic and asymptomatic women. The effects of these antibodies on the fetus, however, are incompletely understood.

This term infant exhibited depressed respiratory effort, poor feeding, and abnormal movements after birth. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed diffuse cerebral edema with ischemic and hemorrhagic injury. Her mother had experienced anti-NMDAR encephalitis secondary to an ovarian teratoma 18 months earlier. The baby's serum NMDAR antibody titer was elevated at 1:320. Intravenous immunoglobulin did not result in clinical improvement, and care was withdrawn on day of life 20. Her mother had an elevated serum NMDAR antibodies (1:80), positive CSF antibody titers, and a new ovarian teratoma.

Routine testing of NMDAR antibodies in pregnant women with a previous history of anti-NMDAR encephalitis may be warranted. Infants born to these mothers should be closely monitored throughout pregnancy and after birth.

Courtesy of  a colleague

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