[Anti-NMDA receptor paraneoplastic encephalitis: complete recovery after ovarian teratoma removal].Rev Neurol. 2011 May 01; 52(9):536-40.RN
A paraneoplastic syndrome characterized by neuropsychiatric symptoms, involuntary movements and seizures has been recently associated with antibodies targeting NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor in patients with an ovarian teratoma. Severe neurological impairment is frequent and treatment in the intensive care unit is often required because of ventilatory failure and life-threatening autonomic instability. Tumor removal is curative in many cases and neurological improvement is demonstrated shortly after surgery.
Here we report on a patient with paraneoplastic encephalitis manifested by unconsciousness and coreo-athetosic movements related to NMDA receptor antibodies associated with an immature ovarian teratoma grade III. She made a complete recovery after oophorectomy, intravenous immunoglobulin and corticosteroids.
Treatment of paraneoplastic syndromes is based on specific therapy for underlying tumor associated to immunomodulators. As in this case, anti-NMDA encephalitis may significantly improve after tumor removal and intra-venous immunoglobuline.