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Pediatr Neurol. 2017 Aug;73:48-56. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2017.04.027. Epub 2017 May 19.

Dexamethasone, Intravenous Immunoglobulin, and Rituximab Combination Immunotherapy for Pediatric Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome.

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National Pediatric Myoclonus Center, National Pediatric Neuroinflammation Organization, Inc, Orlando, Florida. Electronic address:
National Pediatric Myoclonus Center, National Pediatric Neuroinflammation Organization, Inc, Orlando, Florida.



Although pulse-dose dexamethasone is increasingly favored for treating pediatric opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), and multimodal immunotherapy is associated with improved clinical response, there have been no neuroimmunologic studies of dexamethasone-based multimodal disease-modifying therapy.


In this observational retrospective study, 19 children with OMS (with or without associated neuroblastoma) underwent multibiomarker evaluation for neuroinflammation. Nine children of varying OMS severity, duration, and treatment status were treated empirically with pulse dexamethasone, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), and rituximab combination immunotherapy (DEXIR-CI). Another 10 children on dexamethasone alone or with IVIg at initial evaluation only provided a comparison group. Motor severity (total score) was scored rater-blinded via videotapes using the validated OMS Evaluation Scale.


DEXIR-CI was associated with a 69% reduction in group total score (P = 0.004) and was clinically well tolerated. Patients given the dexamethasone combination exhibited significantly lowered B cell frequencies in cerebrospinal fluid (-94%) and blood (-76%), normalizing the cerebrospinal fluid B cell percentage. The number of patients with positive inflammatory markers dropped 87% (P = 0.002) as did the number of markers. Cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal bands were positive in four of nine pretreatment patients but zero of six post-treatment patients. In the comparison group, partial response to dexamethasone alone or with IVIg was associated with multiple positive markers for neuroinflammation despite an average of seven months of treatment.


Multimechanistic dexamethasone-based combination immunotherapy increases the therapeutic armamentarium for OMS, providing a viable option for less severely affected individuals. Partial response to dexamethasone with or without IVIg is indicative of ongoing neuroinflammation and should be treated promptly and accordingly.


CSF immunophenotyping; OMS; chemokines; immunobiomarkers; neuroblastoma; neuroinflammation; paraneoplastic syndrome; pediatric neuroinflammatory disorders

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