Autoimmune encephalitis associated with voltage-gated potassium channels-complex and leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 antibodies: a national cohort study

Marko Celicanin, M Blaabjerg, C Maersk-Moller, S Beniczky, L Marner, C. Thomsen, F W Bach, D Kondziella, H Andersen, Finn Somnier, Z Illes, Lars H Pinborg

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to describe clinical and paraclinical characteristics of all Danish patients who tested positive for anti-voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKC)-complex, anti-leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 (LGI1) and anti-contactin-associated protein-2 antibodies in the serum/cerebrospinal fluid between 2009 and 2013 with follow-up interviews in 2015 and 2016.

METHODS: We evaluated antibody status, symptoms leading to testing, course of disease, suspected diagnosis and time of admission as well as diagnosis and treatment. All magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography and (18) F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans were re-evaluated by experts in the field.

RESULTS: A total of 28/192 patients tested positive for VGKC-complex antibodies by radioimmunoassay and indirect immunofluorescence; 17 had antibodies to LGI1 and 6/7 of the available cerebrospinal fluids from these patients were seropositive. These 17 patients all had a clinical phenotype appropriate to LGI1 antibodies. The remaining 11 were LGI1 negative (n = 4) or not tested (n = 7). Of these, two had a phenotype consistent with limbic encephalitis. The remaining phenotypes were Guillain-Barré syndrome, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, neuromyotonia and anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis. Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities were demonstrated in 69% of the LGI1-positive patients. Two patients with normal magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated temporal lobe hypermetabolism using (18) F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography. Abnormal electroencephalography recordings were found in 86% of the patients. Upon follow-up (median 3.2 years), the median modified Rankin Scale score of anti-LGI1-positive patients was 2 and only two patients reported seizures in the past year.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients diagnosed with anti-LGI1 autoimmune encephalitis increased significantly from 2009 to 2014, probably due to increased awareness. In contrast to seropositive anti-VGKC-complex patients, all anti-LGI1-positive patients presented with a classical limbic encephalitis. The majority of patients recovered well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)999-1005
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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