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CASE REPORT
Neurogenic bladder in an adolescent woman with an ovarian tumour: an unusual presentation of anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis

Abstract

Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis is rarely seen in women with ovarian teratoma. It is characterised by neuropsychiatric symptoms and may also cause autonomic imbalance. We present the case of a 16-year-old nulliparous woman who presented with an acute history of seizures and neurogenic bladder. Antiviral and antiepileptic therapy conferred no therapeutic benefit. A cystic pelvic mass measuring 185×140×92 mm was identified separate from the bladder. Serum titres of NMDA receptor antibodies were significantly elevated. The mass was surgically removed and histology revealed benign ovarian teratoma with NMDA receptors. The patient made a rapid improvement and had full resolution of urinary and neuropsychiatric symptoms within 1 year. This case demonstrates that increased awareness in adolescents is crucial for avoiding symptom dismissal, misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment of this condition. Surgical removal of the teratoma should be the first line therapy of anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis as this often leads to symptom resolution soon after.

  • epilepsy and seizures
  • paediatric oncology
  • child and adolescent psychiatry (paediatrics)
  • cancer - see oncology
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