Treatment of VGKC complex antibody-associated limbic encephalitis: a systematic review

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2013 Fall;25(4):264-71. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13020022.


Limbic encephalitis is an autoimmune neuropsychiatric condition characterized by subacute cognitive symptoms, seizures, and affective changes. Although limbic encephalitis is usually caused by an immune reaction secondary to neoplasms, different types of potentially treatable non-paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis (nPLE) have recently been described. In particular, published studies have reported variable responses to immunosuppressive therapy in Voltage-Gated Potassium Channel (VGKC) complex antibody-associated nPLE. This systematic literature review found that the most significant improvements were reported by patients presenting with affective symptoms and consistent neuroradiological changes. In these patients, improved clinical outcomes correlated with the largest decreases in antibody titers.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Limbic Encephalitis / blood
  • Limbic Encephalitis / diagnosis
  • Limbic Encephalitis / drug therapy*
  • Limbic Encephalitis / immunology
  • Limbic Encephalitis / therapy
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Plasma Exchange*
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / immunology*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • Steroids

Supplementary concepts

  • Autoimmune limbic encephalitis