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MOG antibody–positive, benign, unilateral, cerebral cortical encephalitis with epilepsy

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2017 Mar; 4(2): e322.


Ryo Ogawa, MD, Ichiro Nakashima, MD, PhD,corresponding author Toshiyuki Takahashi, MD, PhD, Kimihiko Kaneko, MD, Tetsuya Akaishi, MD, Yoshiki Takai, MD, PhD, Douglas Kazutoshi Sato, MD, PhD, Shuhei Nishiyama, MD, PhD, Tatsuro Misu, MD, PhD, Hiroshi Kuroda, MD, PhD, Masashi Aoki, MD, PhD, and Kazuo Fujihara, MD, PhD



To describe the features of adult patients with benign, unilateral cerebral cortical encephalitis positive for the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody.


In this retrospective, cross-sectional study, after we encountered an index case of MOG antibody–positive unilateral cortical encephalitis with epileptic seizure, we tested for MOG antibody using our in-house, cell-based assay in a cohort of 24 consecutive adult patients with steroid-responsive encephalitis of unknown etiology seen at Tohoku University Hospital (2008–2014). We then analyzed the findings in MOG antibody–positive cases.


Three more patients, as well as the index case, were MOG antibody–positive, and all were adult men (median age 37 years, range 23–39 years). The main symptom was generalized epileptic seizure with or without abnormal behavior or consciousness disturbance. Two patients also developed unilateral benign optic neuritis (before or after seizure). In all patients, brain MRI demonstrated unilateral cerebral cortical fluid-attenuated inversion recovery hyperintense lesions, which were swollen and corresponded to hyperperfusion on SPECT. CSF studies showed moderate mononuclear pleocytosis with some polymorphonuclear cells and mildly elevated total protein levels, but myelin basic protein was not elevated. A screening of encephalitis-associated autoantibodies, including aquaporin-4, glutamate receptor, and voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies, was negative. All patients received antiepilepsy drugs and fully recovered after high-dose methylprednisolone, and the unilateral cortical MRI lesions subsequently disappeared. No patient experienced relapse.


These MOG antibody–positive cases represent unique benign unilateral cortical encephalitis with epileptic seizure. The pathology may be autoimmune, although the findings differ from MOG antibody–associated demyelination and Rasmussen and other known immune-mediated encephalitides.

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