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AMPA-R Antibody CBA, Amphiphysin Antibody, Anti-Glial Nuclear Antibody, Type 1, Anti-Neuronal Nuclear Antibody, Type 1, Anti-Neuronal Nuclear Antibody, Type 2, Anti-Neuronal Nuclear Antibody, Type 3, Behavioral Change, CASPR2-IgG, Confusion, Contactin-Associated Protein-Like-2 (CASPR2)-IgG, CRMP-5-IgG, DPPX, dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-like protein 6, ENCEC, Encephalitis, GABA-B-R Antibody CBA, Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD65), Leucine-Rich Glioma Inactivated Protein-1 IgG, LGI1-IgG, metabotropic glutamate receptor 1, mGluR1, NMDA-R Antibody CBA, Psychosis, Purkinje Cell Cytoplasmic Antibody, Type 1, Purkinje Cell Cytoplasmic Antibody, Type 2, Purkinje Cell Cytoplasmic Antibody, Type Tr, Limbic encephalitis, Neurochondrin, Septin-7
Evaluating new onset encephalopathy (noninfectious or metabolic) comprising confusional states, psychosis, delirium, memory loss, hallucinations, movement disorders, sensory or motor complaints, seizures, dyssomnias, ataxias, nausea, vomiting, inappropriate antidiuresis, coma, dysautonomias, or hypoventilation using spinal fluid specimens
The following accompaniments should increase of suspicion for autoimmune encephalopathy:
-Autoimmune stigmata (personal or family history or signs of diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorder, vitiligo, poliosis [premature graying], myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus)
-History of cancer
-Smoking history (20 or more pack-years) or other cancer risk factors
-Inflammatory cerebrospinal fluid (or isolated protein elevation)
-Neuroimaging signs suggesting inflammation
Evaluating limbic encephalitis (noninfectious)
Directing a focused search for cancer
Investigating encephalopathy appearing during or after cancer therapy and not explainable by metastasis or drug effect
-Relevant clinical information
-Ordering provider name, phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address
Negative results do not exclude autoimmune encephalopathy or cancer.
This test does not detect Ma1 or Ma2 antibodies (alias MaTa), which are sometimes associated with brainstem and limbic encephalitis in the context of testicular germ cell neoplasms. Scrotal ultrasound is advised for men who present with unexplained subacute encephalitis.
AMPCC, CS2CC, DPPCC, GABCC, GFACC, IG5CC, LG1CC, GL1CC, NCDCC, AINCC, NFLCC, NFHCC, NMDCC, SP7CC: Cell Binding Assay (CBA)
CRMWC: Western Blot (WB)
AGNBC, AMIBC, AN1BC, AN2BC, PC1BC, PCTBC: Immunoblot (IB)
GD65C: Radioimmunoassay (RIA)
Autoimmune encephalopathies extend beyond the classically recognized clinical and radiological spectrum of "limbic encephalitis." They encompass a diversity of neurological presentations with subacute or insidious onset, including confusional states, psychosis, delirium, memory loss, hallucinations, movement disorders, sensory or motor complaints, seizures, dyssomnias, ataxias, eye movement problems, nausea, vomiting, inappropriate antidiuresis, coma, dysautonomias, or hypoventilation. A diagnosis of autoimmune encephalopathy should be suspected on the basis of clinical course, coexisting autoimmune disorder (eg, thyroiditis, diabetes), serological evidence of autoimmunity, spinal fluid evidence of intrathecal inflammation, neuroimaging or electroencephalographic abnormalities, and favorable response to trial of immunotherapy.
Detection of one or more neural autoantibodies aids the diagnosis of autoimmune encephalopathy and may guide a search for cancer. Pertinent autoantibody specificities include: 1) neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels such as neuronal voltage-gated potassium channels (and interacting synaptic and axonal proteins, leucine-rich glioma inactivated protein: LGI1 and contactin associated protein 2: CASPR2), ionotropic glutamate receptors (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor: NMDA and 2-amino-3-[5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2- oxazol-4-yl] propanoic acid: AMPA), metabotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-B receptors; 2) enzymes, signaling molecules and RNA-regulatory proteins in the cytoplasm and nucleus of neurons (glutamic acid decarboxylase 65: GAD65, collapsin response-mediator protein-5 neuronal: CRMP-5, antineuronal nuclear antibody-type 1: ANNA-1, and ANNA-2).
Importantly, autoimmune encephalopathies are reversible. Misdiagnosis as a progressive (currently irreversible) neurodegenerative condition is not uncommon and has devastating consequences for the patient. Clinicians must consider the possibility of an autoimmune etiology in the differential diagnoses of encephalopathy. For example, a potentially reversible disorder justifies a trial of immunotherapy for the detection of neural autoantibodies in patients presenting with symptoms of personality change, executive dysfunction, and psychiatric manifestations.
A triad of clues helps to identify patients with an autoimmune encephalopathy: 1) clinical presentation (subacute symptoms, onset rapidly progressive course, and fluctuating symptoms) and radiological findings consistent with inflammation, 2) detection of neural autoantibodies in serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and 3) favorable response to a trial of immunotherapy.
Detection of neural autoantibodies in serum or CSF informs the physician of a likely autoimmune etiology, and may heighten suspicion for a paraneoplastic basis and guide the search for cancer. Neurological accompaniments of neural autoantibodies are generally not syndromic, but diverse and multifocal. For example, LGI1 antibody was initially considered to be specific for autoimmune limbic encephalitis, but over time other presentations have been reported, including rapidly progressive course of cognitive decline mimicking neurodegenerative dementia.
Comprehensive antibody testing is more informative than selective testing for 1 or 2 neural antibodies. Some antibodies strongly predict an underlying cancer. For example; small-cell lung carcinoma (ANNA-1; CRMP-5-IgG), ovarian teratoma (NMDA-R), and thymoma (CRMP-5-IgG).
An individual patient's profile autoantibody may be informative for a specific cancer type. For example, in a patient presenting with encephalitis who has CRMP-5-IgG, and subsequent reflex reveals muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) binding antibody, the findings should raise a high suspicion for thymoma. Testing of CSF for autoantibodies is particularly helpful when serum testing is negative, though in some circumstances testing both serum and CSF simultaneously is pertinent. Testing of CSF is recommended for some antibodies in particular (such as NMDA-R antibody and GFAP-IgG) because CSF testing is both more sensitive and specific. In contrast, serum testing for LGI1 antibody is more sensitive than CSF testing.
Neuronal, glial, and muscle autoantibodies are valuable serological markers of autoimmune encephalopathy and of a patient's immune response to cancer. These autoantibodies are usually accompanied by subacute neurological symptoms and signs are not found in healthy subjects. It is not uncommon for more than 1 of the following autoantibody specificities to be detected in patients with an autoimmune encephalopathy:
-Plasma membrane autoantibodies: These are all potential effectors of neurological dysfunction: N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor; 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2- oxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid (AMPA) receptor; gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA-B) receptor; neuronal ACh receptor.
-Neuronal nuclear autoantibodies: type 1 (ANNA-1), type 2 (ANNA-2), or type 3 (ANNA-3)
-Neuronal or muscle cytoplasmic antibodies: amphiphysin, Purkinje cell antibodies (PCA-1 and PCA-2), collapsin response-mediator protein-5 (CRMP-5), or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65).