T-cell-mediated ganglionitis associated with acute sensory neuronopathy

Ann Neurol. 1996 Apr;39(4):543-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.410390418.


A 67-year-old man presented with acute painful sensory loss, areflexia, ataxia, urinary retention, and severe constipation and became unable to walk within 2 weeks. He died suddenly 5 weeks after the onset of symptoms. Autopsy revealed widespread inflammation of sensory and autonomic ganglia with immunocytochemical evidence of a CD8+ T cell-mediated cytotoxic attack against ganglion neurons. This observation suggests a novel pathogenetic mechanism of immune-mediated human ganglion cell damage comparable to mechanisms operating in polymyositis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Ganglia, Autonomic* / pathology
  • Ganglia, Sensory* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuritis / complications*
  • Neuritis / pathology
  • Sensation Disorders / complications*
  • Sensation Disorders / pathology
  • Sural Nerve / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / physiology*