Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder after streptococcal infection (PANDAS) is a specific autoimmune response to group-A streptococcal infections in children and adolescents with a sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorders or tic-like symptoms. Cerebral metabolic changes of patients have not yet been observed.
We present a case of an 18-year old male with a PANDAS-like condition after developing tic-like symptoms and involuntary movements three weeks after cardiac surgery. The patient had suffered from pharyngotonsillitis before the symptoms started. The anti-streptolysin O (ASO) titer was elevated (805 kU/l). Antibiotic therapy did not improve his condition. Intravenous immunoglobulins and high-dose cortisone therapy had minor beneficial effects on his involuntary movements. 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/ computer tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) demonstrated pronounced hypermetabolism of the basal ganglia and cortical hypometabolism. The patient was treated with five cycles of plasmapheresis. A marked clinical improvement was observed after four months. Cerebral metabolic alterations had completely normalized.
This is the first report of cerebral metabolic changes observed on FDG-PET/CT in a patient with a PANDAS-like condition with a normalization following immunomodulatory treatment. Cerebral FDG-PET/CT might be a promising tool in the diagnosis of PANDAS.