Journal of Clinical Pediatrics ›› 2023, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (9): 656-660.doi: 10.12372/jcp.2023.22e1735

• Nervous System Disease • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Clinical analysis of autoimmune glial fibrillary acidic protein astrocytopathy in children

HOU Chi, CHEN Wenxiong, LIAO Yinting, WU Wenxiao, TIAN Yang, ZHU Haixia, PENG Bingwei, ZENG Yiru, WU Wenlin, CHEN Zongzong, LI Xiaojing()   

  1. Department of Neurology, Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou 510120, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2023-01-04 Online:2023-09-15 Published:2023-09-05
  • Contact: LI Xiaojing


Objective To investigate the clinical characteristics, treatment and prognosis of autoimmune glial fibrillary acidic protein astrocytopathy (GFAP-A) in children. Methods The clinical data of children diagnosed with GFAP-A from June 2018 to July 2022 were retrospectively analyzed. Results Five patients were diagnosed with GFAP-A, including 3 boys and 2 girls, and the onset age was 11.0 (5.0-13.5) years. The commonest initial symptom was fever (4 cases), and the commonest neurological symptoms and signs were headache (5 cases) and neck rigidity with positive Kerning sign (5 cases). Cerebrospinal fluid examination (CSF) in acute stage showed elevated white blood cell count and protein level in 4 cases and protein-cell separation in 1 case. The median CSF GFAP antibody titer was 1:10 (1:10-1:100), and 1 patient had combined N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antibody. The commonest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were cerebral leptomeningeal enhancement (4 cases). In acute phase, all children received first-line immunotherapy (high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone combined with intravenous immunoglobulin), and 4 children had a good response. One patient with positive CSF NMDAR antibody had no response to first-line treatment, but improved after rituximab treatment. During a follow-up of 8.0 (4.0-36.0) months, no neurological sequelae associated with the disease were detected. Conclusions The commonest symptoms and signs of GFAP-A in children are fever, headache and meningeal irritation, and leptomeningeal enhancement is the commonest MRI change. Most children have a good response to first-line immunotherapy and have a good prognosis during follow-up.

Key words: autoimmune glial fibrillary acidic protein astrocytopathy, antibody, immunotherapy, child