Overlapping syndrome mimicking infectious meningoencephalitis in a patient with MOG and GFAP IgG

BMC Neurol. 2021 Sep 10;21(1):348. doi: 10.1186/s12883-021-02381-8.


Background: Central nervous system overlapping autoimmune syndromes are uncommon, especially with the coexistence of MOG-IgG and GFAP-IgG.

Case presentation: A 23-year-old woman presented with transient convulsions, a loss of consciousness, persistent fever, headache, and vomiting. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis revealed elevated cellularity, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed diffuse leptomeningeal enhancement. She had fever and headache with antiviral and antibiotic treatment for 2 weeks, and she had empirical anti-tuberculosis treatment and oral prednisolone therapy. She was followed for 3 months after presentation with improved symptoms and normal CSF analysis. A 3-month follow-up MRI showed asymmetric lesions in the cerebellum, corona radiata, and white matter with enhancement. The anti-tuberculosis treatment was continued, and steroid therapy was discontinued. After she stopped taking prednisolone, an interrupted headache gradually appeared. MRI at 4 months after presentation revealed a partial reduction in lesions but enlarged areas in the left cerebellum and right parietal white matter and a new lesion in the region of the right ependyma with linear enhancement. Her CSF was positive for anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibodies using a transfected cell-based assay. She was diagnosed with overlapping syndrome of MOG‑IgG‑associated disease and GFAP astrocytopathy. She received steroid pulse therapy (methylprednisolone, 1 g for 5 days), followed by a gradual tapering of oral prednisolone and the addition of an immunosuppressant (tacrolimus, 3 mg per day). Six months after the initial presentation, she had no symptoms. An MRI showed that the lesions had diminished, and no enhancement was found.

Conclusions: We report a case that was positive for double antibodies, which was initially misdiagnosed as infectious meningoencephalitis. This case broadens the clinical and phenotypic presentation of the overlapping syndrome spectrum.

Keywords: Glial fibrillary acidic protein; Meningoencephalitis; Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein; Overlapping syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Meningoencephalitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Meningoencephalitis* / drug therapy
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Syndrome
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein