[High-dose intravenous immunoglobulins for treatment of optic neuritis in Guillain-Barré syndrome]

Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd. 2007 Dec;224(12):932-4.

[Article in German]

Lüke C, Dohmen C, Dietlein TS, Brunner R, Lüke M, Krieglstein GK.

Zentrum für Augenheilkunde der Universität Köln.

BACKGROUND: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute inflammatory demyelinating disease of the peripheral nervous system. Treatment strategies include systemic steroids, immune adsorption, plasmapheresis, and intravenous immunoglobulins. Optic neuritis as an affectation of the central nervous system does not belong to the normal spectrum of neurological symptoms in GBS, which is thought to be restricted to the peripheral nervous system.

CASE REPORT: A 55-year-old female patient with unilateral optic neuritis secondary to GBS was referred to our department. Visual acuity was 0.04 in the affected left eye, L. E. and 1.25 in the right eye, R. E. Visual field testing revealed a large centrocecal scotoma. Ophthalmoscopy disclosed a slight oedema of the left optic disc. High-dose steroid treatment based on the diagnosis of optic neuritis secondary to GBS could not improve vision in the patient's left eye. Therefore, a repetitive treatment with high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) was initiated. The patient underwent three treatment cycles - 0.4 g per kg daily for 5 days - with intervals of two weeks between each cycle. Visual acuity and visual field improved gradually after the initiation of the immunoglobulin treatment. At the end of the last treatment course - 7 weeks after the begin of ocular symptoms - visual acuity had recovered to 0.8. A small residual paracentral scotoma resolved completely within the following weeks. Further follow-up examinations revealed a complete recovery of visual acuity to 1.0. Side effects of the immunoglobulin treatment were not observed throughout the treatment period. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the observation that the clinical improvement in our patient coincided with the initiation of the IVIg treatment after steroid treatment had failed, we feel justified in drawing attention to IVIg as a potential treatment option in patients with GBS and involvement of the optic nerve.

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