Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis is an increasingly recognized autoimmune disorder that results in substantial morbidity, prolonged hospital stays, and even death. The diagnosis is often delayed or unrecognized entirely as a result of absent or only subtle initial magnetic resonance imaging findings and a nonspecific clinical syndrome. The discovery of early imaging findings in this disease may help clinicians to more aggressively treat this autoimmune encephalitis and to potentially lessen morbidity and mortality. We report a novel case of anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis characterized by early evidence of increased cerebral perfusion on arterial spin labeling perfusion imaging, a finding that preceded laboratory diagnosis and conventional magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities. Further investigation is needed to firmly establish the pathologic basis of this finding.
Keywords: ASL perfusion; Anti-NMDAR encephalitis; MRI.