Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis presenting as postpartum psychosis in a young woman, treated with rituximab
From the aDepartment of Infectious Diseases, St. Michael's Medical Center, bJohn F Kennedy Medical Center, Edison, New Jersey, USA
Ann Saudi Med 2012; 32(4): 421-423
A severe paraneoplastic form of acute encephalitis associated with antibodies against the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor typically occurs in young individuals and is associated, but not always, with an underlying tumor. If diagnosed early, initiation of immunotherapy and tumor removal (if present) may result in recovery. We report a case in a 25-year-old young woman who presented to our medical center with postpartum psychosis. Treatment with rituximab (a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20) resulted in gradual improvement in mental status and resolution of seizure activity episodes. A year after diagnosis and treatment, the patient was doing well without recurrences, and no tumors appeared. This is the first described case of anti–NMDA-receptor antibodies encephalitis that presented initially as a postpartum psychosis disorder and was successfully treated with rituximab.