Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis induced by bilateral ovarian teratomas with distinct histopathologic types: A case report and brief literature review

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Nov;98(48):e18148. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018148.


Rationale: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an autoimmune disorder that is most frequently induced by ovarian teratoma in young females. The condition can be controlled and reversed via ovarian tumor resection and immunotherapy. However, anti-NMDAR encephalitis induced by bilateral ovarian teratomas with distinct histopathologic types is rarely reported in the literature.

Patient concerns: A 23-year-old woman presented with seizures.

Diagnoses: The diagnosis was anti-NMDAR encephalitis associated with ovarian teratomas based on positive anti-NMDAR antibody tests in both the cerebrospinal fluid and serum, and the detection of bilateral ovarian lesions on pelvic computed tomography. The postoperative histopathologic examination confirmed that the left lesion was an immature teratoma, and the right lesion was a mature teratoma.

Interventions: We performed surgical resection of the ovarian teratomas and administered immunotherapy for the control of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Chemotherapy was administered for the immature teratoma.

Outcomes: The patient recovered without any postoperative complications. She has been confirmed to be in complete clinical remission, and has not had a recurrence during 18 months of follow-up.

Lessons: Anti-NMDAR encephalitis induced by bilateral ovarian teratomas of differing histopathologic types (1 immature and 1 mature) is rare. Early diagnosis and treatment with tumor resection, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy are critical for a good prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis* / diagnosis
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis* / etiology
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis* / immunology
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis* / therapy
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / immunology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Ovariectomy / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / immunology*
  • Teratoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Teratoma* / drug therapy
  • Teratoma* / immunology
  • Teratoma* / pathology
  • Teratoma* / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate

Supplementary concepts

  • Teratoma, Ovarian