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Ther Apher. 1998 Aug;2(3):240-2.

Successful plasmapheresis in the not-so-benign Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis associated with anti-GQ1b antibody.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Musashino Red Cross Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


A patient with Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis (BBE) associated with anti-GQ1b antibody developed coma, severe weakness, and respiratory distress. The patient required ventilatory support. After having failed to improve on steroids, she was treated with plasmapheresis. She improved concomitantly with the plasmapheresis treatment and made a complete recovery. BBE associated with anti-GQ1b antibody is generally considered to be benign, and specific treatments have not been established. The results with this patient suggest that the condition is not always benign, and plasmapheresis may be beneficial in this disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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