Clinical features and outcomes in children with seronegative autoimmune encephalitis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractAimTo characterize the presenting features and outcomes in children with seronegative autoimmune encephalitis, and to evaluate whether scores at nadir for the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Clinical Assessment Scale for Autoimmune Encephalitis (CASE) or its paediatric‐specific modification (ped‐CASE) are predictive of outcomes.MethodThis observational study included children younger than 18 years of age with seronegative autoimmune encephalitis. Demographics and clinical data were collected. The mRS and CASE/ped‐CASE scores were used to evaluate disease severity. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used for data analysis and to evaluate associations between scale scores and outcomes.ResultsSixty‐three children were included (39 [62%] females, median age 7 years, interquartile range [IQR] 4 years 1 months–11 years 6 months), with follow‐up available for 56 out of 63 patients (median follow‐up 12.2 months, IQR 13.4–17.8). The most frequent presenting neurological manifestation was encephalopathy (81%). Median CASE/ped‐CASE and mRS scores at nadir were 12.0 (IQR 7.0–17.0) and 1.0 (IQR 0–2.0) respectively. Thirty‐three patients (59%) had persistent neurological deficits at follow‐up. Both scoring systems suggested good functional recovery (mRS score ≤2, 95%; CASE/ped‐CASE score <5, 91%). CASE/ped‐CASE score was more likely than mRS to distinguish children with worse outcomes.InterpretationChildren with seronegative autoimmune encephalitis are likely to have neurological deficits at follow‐up. CASE/ped‐CASE is more likely to distinguish children with worse outcomes than MRS.


  • Madani, Jihan
  • Yea, Carmen
  • Mahjoub, Areej
  • Brna, Paula
  • Jones, Kevin Charles
  • Longoni, Giulia
  • Nouri, Maryam Nabavi
  • Rizk, Tamer
  • Stewart, Wendy A
  • Wilbur, Colin
  • Yeh, E Ann

publication date

  • March 15, 2024