Involvement of the central nervous system in Miller Fisher syndrome: a case report

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2002 Sep;104(4):377-9. doi: 10.1016/s0303-8467(02)00016-1.


Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) is characterised by ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and areflexia. Reports on cerebellar ataxia and supranuclear oculomotor derangement in MFS suggested an additional involvement of the central nervous system (CNS), resembling Bickerstaff's brainstem encephalitis (BBE). In the present report, a patient with a monophasic acute illness, early recovery and specific clinical-laboratory findings suggested both intrinsic brainstem and peripheral nerve disease (MFS and BBE). In pons and medulla oblangata, blurred to discrete T2-lesions were revealed by cranial MRI, while involvement of peripheral nerves was detected with EMG. The CSF showed no increase in protein or cell content, such as occurs in brainstem encephalitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Brain Diseases / etiology*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Medulla Oblongata / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Miller Fisher Syndrome / complications*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Pons / pathology