Diagnostic Criteria for Primary Autoimmune Cerebellar Ataxia-Guidelines from an International Task Force on Immune-Mediated Cerebellar Ataxias

Cerebellum. 2020 Aug;19(4):605-610. doi: 10.1007/s12311-020-01132-8.


Aside from well-characterized immune-mediated ataxias with a clear trigger and/or association with specific neuronal antibodies, a large number of idiopathic ataxias are suspected to be immune mediated but remain undiagnosed due to lack of diagnostic biomarkers. Primary autoimmune cerebellar ataxia (PACA) is the term used to describe this later group. An International Task Force comprising experts in the field of immune ataxias was commissioned by the Society for Research on the Cerebellum and Ataxias (SRCA) in order to devise diagnostic criteria aiming to improve the diagnosis of PACA. The proposed diagnostic criteria for PACA are based on clinical (mode of onset, pattern of cerebellar involvement, presence of other autoimmune diseases), imaging findings (MRI and if available MR spectroscopy showing preferential, but not exclusive involvement of vermis) and laboratory investigations (CSF pleocytosis and/or CSF-restricted IgG oligoclonal bands) parameters. The aim is to enable clinicians to consider PACA when encountering a patient with progressive ataxia and no other diagnosis given that such consideration might have important therapeutic implications.

Keywords: Immune ataxias; Primary autoimmune cerebellar ataxia (PACA).

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / diagnosis*
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / diagnosis*
  • Humans