Validity of the 2016 diagnostic criteria for anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis in children

Takeaway

  • This study provides Class IV evidence that the proposed 2016 diagnostic criteria for anti-NMDA receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis in children have a sensitivity of 81.2% and a specificity of 76.9%.

  • Physicians should start immunomodulatory therapy when their patients fulfill the diagnostic criteria, but should concurrently continue to differentially diagnose patients.

Why this matters

  • More than one-third of patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis are children.

  • The 2016 diagnostic criteria for autoimmune encephalitis, including probable and definite anti-NMDAR encephalitis, was proposed to promote early immunological intervention.

  • However, symptoms in pediatric patients can vary from those in adult patients and neurological assessment is difficult in some pediatric patients.

  • This study provides evidence for the validity and application of the 2016 diagnostic criteria in pediatric patients.