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Case of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis in a female adolescent with favourable response to second-line treatment with cyclophosphamide

Abstract

We report the case of a female adolescent who presented with behavioural changes. She was admitted to our institution due to worsening psychiatric and neurological symptoms, subsequently diagnosed with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis. Additional workup was facilitated to rule out a possible underlying teratoma, but all tests turned out unremarkable. First-line treatment with methylprednisolone pulse therapy and intravenous immunoglobulin was started, to which she showed marked improvement from baseline. One month after discharge, a decision for readmission was made because of persistent episodes of hallucinations, agitation and dyskinesias. In this case report, we highlight the use of cyclophosphamide over rituximab as second-line treatment in a resource-limited setting, owing to its greater availability and lesser cost. Cyclophosphamide treatment was given resulting in a more sustained clinical improvement with return to baseline function.

  • Neurology
  • Paediatrics

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