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Acquired diseases classically associated with VGKC-complex antibodies include peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH), Morvan's syndrome, limbic encephalitis (LE), and epilepsy. However, not all such patients have VGKC-complex antibodies and antibodies have been reported in patients without a defined immune-mediated syndrome. To analyse the clinical relevance of positive VGKC-complex antibodies requested on the basis of initial clinical suspicion. We retrospectively analysed patients with positive VGKC-complex antibodies (>100 pM) referred to our institution between 2001 and 2011. 1,614 VGKC-complex assays were performed in 1,298 patients. Titres >100 pM were detected in 57/1,298 (4 %) patients. A classic VGKC-complex channelopathy (60 %) was associated with VGKC-complex antibody titres >400 pM (p = 0.0004). LGI1 or CASPR2 antibodies were only detected in classic VGKC-complex channelopathies (LE; n = 3/4 and PNH; n = 1/5). VGKC-complex antibody titres <400 pM were seen with PNH (n = 15/22; 68 %) but also a heterogeneous range of central and/or peripheral nervous system disorders. Electromyography was supportive of PNH in 65 % of cases and symptomatic treatment was beneficial in 46 % of patients. Irrespective of titre, the rate of malignancy in patients with VGKC-complex antibodies was higher than the age-matched national incidence of malignancy (OR 19.9, 95 % CI 8.97-44.0 p<0.0001). Clinical phenotyping and antibody titres >400 pM can help determine VGKC-complex antibody relevance. Antibody titres <400 pM are associated with PNH but also a more heterogeneous clinical spectrum. The antibody association in the latter is of doubtful clinical relevance. The rate of malignancy was significantly higher than the national incidence irrespective of titre.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00415-014-7588-0

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Neurol

Publication Date

02/2015

Volume

262

Pages

418 - 424

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Autoantibodies, Autoantigens, Channelopathies, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Peripheral Nervous System Diseases, Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated, Retrospective Studies