Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis with an imaging-invisible ovarian teratoma: A case report

Zainab M. Abdul-Rahman, Peter Panegyres, Margareta Roeck, David Hawkins, Jude Bharath, Paul Grolman, Cliffe Neppe, David Palmer

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis is a recently discovered disease entity of paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis. It largely affects young women and is often associated with an ovarian teratoma. It is a serious yet treatable condition if diagnosed early. Its remedy involves immunotherapy and surgical removal of the teratoma of the ovaries. This case of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis involves an early surgical intervention with bilateral oophorectomy, despite negative imaging evidence of a teratoma. Case presentation: A 25-year-old white woman with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis presented with behavioral changes and seizures that were confirmed to be secondary to anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis. She required an admission to our intensive care unit for ventilator support and received a number of immunological therapies. Multiple imaging investigations showed no evidence of an ovarian teratoma; she had a bilateral oophorectomy 29 days after admission. Ovarian histology confirmed the presence of a teratoma with neuronal cells. A few days after the operation she began to show signs of improvement and, apart from mild short-term memory loss, she returned to normal function. Conclusions: Our patient is an example of teratoma-associated anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis, in which the teratoma was identified only microscopically. Her case highlights that even with negative imaging evidence of a teratoma, ovarian pathology should still be considered and explored.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number296
    JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2016


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