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01.12.2012 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2012

Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis presenting with acute psychosis in a preteenage girl: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2012
Paraskevi Maggina, Mersini Mavrikou, Stavroula Karagianni, Chrysanthi L Skevaki, Antigoni Triantafyllidou, Constantinos Voudris, Eustathia Katsarou, Lela Stamogiannou, Sotiria Mastroyianni
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-6-224) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

PM and SM analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. PM, MM, SK, AT, CV, EK, LS and SM were involved in the initial diagnosis and management. CLS was involved in the process of drafting and revising the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.



Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis is a rare, newly defined autoimmune clinical entity that presents with atypical clinical manifestations. Most patients with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis develop a progressive illness from psychosis into a state of unresponsiveness, with catatonic features often associated with abnormal movements and autonomic instability. This is the first report of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis in a Greek pediatric hospital.

Case presentation

An 11-year-old Greek girl presented with clinical manifestations of acute psychosis. The differential diagnosis included viral encephalitis. The presence of a tumor usually an ovarian teratoma, a common clinical finding in many patients, was excluded. Early diagnosis and prompt immunotherapy resulted in full recovery up to one year after the initial diagnosis.


Acute psychosis is a rare psychiatric presentation in children, diagnosed only after possible organic syndromes that mimic acute psychosis are excluded, including anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor receptor encephalitis. Pediatricians, neurologists and psychiatrists should consider this rare clinical syndrome, in order to make an early diagnosis and instigate appropriate treatment to maximize neurological recovery.

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Authors’ original file for figure 1
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