Anti-NMDAR encephalitis misdiagnosed as Hashimoto's encephalopathy

M. Mirabelli-Badenier, R. Biancheri, G. Morana, S. Fornarino, L. Siri, M. E. Celle, E. Veneselli, A. Vincent, R. Gaggero, M. M. Mancardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is a well-defined autoimmune disorder. Hashimoto's encephalopathy (HE) is a still controversial entity, lacking definite diagnostic criteria. We described a 14-year-old-girl presenting with a clinical picture consistent with the diagnosis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis, confirmed by NMDAR antibody testing. Four years earlier, she had presented a similar episode of acute encephalopathy diagnosed as HE. Anti-NMDAR encephalitis and HE share similar clinical features so that the differential diagnosis can be difficult if specific antibodies are not tested. The correct diagnosis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis is crucial to plan the appropriate management and follow-up, namely in term of oncological screening, since it can be paraneoplastic in origin. We suggest to re-evaluate the clinical history of all subjects with previous HE diagnosis in order to evaluate the possible diagnosis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis and plan the appropriate management of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-74
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Hashimoto encephalopathy
  • Neuronal surface antibodies
  • Paraneoplastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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