Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis: a common cause of encephalitis in the intensive care unit.Neurol Sci. 2016 Dec; 37(12):1993-1998.NS
Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis (anti-NMDAR encephalitis) is the most common type of immune-mediated encephalitis. This study aimed to assess the incidence and mortality of anti-NMDAR encephalitis in intensive care unit (ICU) to evaluate the clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, managements and outcomes, and to compare these characteristics with patients with non-anti-NMDAR encephalitis admitted to ICU. Patients admitted to the neurological ICU with suspected encephalitis were included between January 1, 2012 and July 31, 2015. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of enrolled patients was screened for anti-NMDAR antibodies using a cell-based assay. 72 critically ill patients with encephalitis of uncertain etiology were investigated, and 16 patients were positive for anti-NMDAR antibodies in CSF. Compared to patients with non-anti-NMDAR encephalitis, patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis were younger, more likely to present with the psychiatric symptoms, dyskinesia, and autonomic dysfunction, and had longer ICU stays. The abnormal movements were so difficult to control that complicated the management. The outcome was favorable in ten patients 1 year after the disease onset, and the mortality was as high as 25 % overall. The incidence of anti-NMDAR encephalitis is high among critically ill patients with encephalitis of uncertain etiology. Controlling dyskinesia proved to be a challenge. Persistent dysautonomias were additional difficult to manage confounders. Same points being highlighted in this study may aid clinicians in the management of patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis in intensive care practice.