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Immune-mediated ophthalmoparesis with anti-GD1a antibodies
  1. Norma McKean1,2 and
  2. Charmaine Chircop1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurosciences, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  2. 2Department of Medicine, University of Malta, Msida, Malta
  1. Correspondence to Dr Norma McKean; norma.mckean{at}


A young woman presented to neurology with a 1 month history of progressive diplopia on lateral gaze and a 1 week history of headaches. On examination she was found to have complex ophthalmoparesis with binocular horizontal diplopia, failure of abduction bilaterally and limited upgaze with convergence-retraction nystagmus. The rest of the neurological examination was normal. She was admitted for investigations: blood, CT brain, MR brain and lumbar puncture results were normal. Anti-GD1a antibodies were strongly positive; anti-GM1, anti-GM2 and anti-GD1b were also positive. On follow-up 3 weeks later, the complex ophthalmoplegia persisted. It was decided to treat with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIgs) with good response but recurrence at 2 weeks post infusion. She was treated with 4 weekly IVIg courses and remains responsive and controlled over 1 year since presentation but becomes symptomatic in the week running up to each dose; thus, disease modifying treatment is currently being considered.

  • neurology
  • cranial nerves
  • neuroopthalmology
  • neurology (drugs and medicines)

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  • Contributors NMK: Analysis and interpretation of data, discussion of management plan, write up and video recording. CC: Analysis and interpretation of data, discussion of management plan and write up.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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