Successful plasmapheresis in Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis associated with anti-GQ1b antibody

J Neurol Sci. 1995 Jul;131(1):108-10. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(95)00112-f.


Patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and Fisher's syndrome (FS) benefit from plasmapheresis. Specific treatments, however, have yet to be established for Bickerstaff's brain stem encephalitis (BBE). We showed earlier that sera from BBE patients, as well as from patients with FS and GBS with ophthalmoplegia, have autoantibody to GQ1b ganglioside in the acute phase of the disease. We report 2 BBE patients who had high IgG anti-GQ1b antibody titers and were treated successfully with plasmapheresis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Stem*
  • Encephalitis / immunology
  • Encephalitis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Gangliosides / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / immunology*
  • Plasmapheresis*


  • Gangliosides
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • GQ1b ganglioside