Morvan Syndrome and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in the Central Nervous System


Jiang C, et al. Neurologist 2020.


INTRODUCTION: The origin of contactin-associated protein-like 2 (Caspr2) antibodies in patients with Morvan syndrome is currently unknown. This case report investigated a possible association between the production of Caspr2 antibodies and aberrant proliferation of B lymphocytes.

CASE REPORT: We admitted a critically ill 65-year-old female patient with a suspected infection of the central nervous system (CNS). In addition to acquired neuromyotonia and CNS involvement, Caspr2 antibodies detected in her serum led to the presumptive diagnosis of Morvan syndrome. However, steroid and immunoglobulin treatment did not result in a satisfactory therapeutic outcome. On the basis of findings from immunohistochemistry, flow cytometric analysis, and immunoglobulin/T-cell receptor gene rearrangement detection of cerebrospinal fluid cells, we also made a concurrent diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the CNS of this patient. The patient then received 4 cycles of rituximab and methylprednisolone therapy with an interval of 2 weeks, which temporarily led to a near-complete remission of her symptoms. Upon follow-up, her symptoms relapsed at 3 months after the last treatment with rituximab and methylprednisolone.

CONCLUSIONS: This is a first reported case of a patient who was concurrently diagnosed with Morvan syndrome and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the CNS. Additional studies are needed to determine whether aberrantly proliferating B lymphocytes are responsible for the production of Caspr2 antibodies.