Prognostic value of acute cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities in antibody-positive autoimmune encephalitis

James Broadley, Robb Wesselingh, Udaya Seneviratne, Chris Kyndt, Paul Beech, Katherine Buzzard, Cassie Nesbitt, Wendyl D'souza, Amy Brodtmann, Richard Macdonell, Tomas Kalincik, Helmut Butzkueven, Terence J. O'Brien, Mastura Monif, on behalf of the Australian Autoimmune Encephalitis Consortium

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the prognostic value of CSF abnormalities in seropositive autoimmune encephalitis (AE). Methods: We retrospectively studied 57 cases of seropositive AE. Primary outcomes were mortality and modified Rankin Scale, while secondary outcomes were first line treatment failure, ICU admission and relapse. Regression analysis was performed. Results: CSF white cell count (WCC) was higher in the NMDAR group, while elevated protein was more common amongst other subtypes. We found an association between WCC >5 cells/mm3 and treatment failure (OR 16.0, p = 0.006)), and between WCC >20 cells/mm3 and ICU admission (OR 19.3, p = 0.026). Conclusions: Different subsets of AE have characteristic CSF abnormalities, which may aid recognition during early evaluation. CSF WCC had prognostic significance in our study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number577508
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


  • Autoimmune encephalitis
  • Biomarker
  • CSF
  • Lymphocytosis
  • Prognosis

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