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Schubert, Julia; Braemer, Dirk; Huttner, Hagen B.; Gerner, Stefan T.; Fuhrer, Hannah; Melzer, Nico; Dik, Andre; Pruess, Harald; Ly, Lam-Than; Fuchs, Kornelius; Leypoldt, Frank; Nissen, Gunnar; Schirotzek, Ingo; Dohmen, Christian; Boesel, Julian; Lewerenz, Jan; Thaler, Franziska; Kraft, Andrea; Juranek, Aleksandra; Ringelstein, Marius; Suehs, Kurt-Wolfram; Urbanek, Christian; Scherag, Andre; Geis, Christian; Witte, Otto W.; Guenther, Albrecht (2019): Management and prognostic markers in patients with autoimmune encephalitis requiring ICU treatment. In: Neurology-Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, Vol. 6, No. 1, e514
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Objective To assess intensive care unit (ICU) complications, their management, and prognostic factors associated with outcomes in a cohort of patients with autoimmune encephalitis (AE). Methods This study was an observational multicenter registry of consecutively included patients diagnosed with AE requiring Neuro-ICU treatment between 2004 and 2016 from 18 tertiary hospitals. Logistic regression models explored the influence of complications, their management, and diagnostic findings on the dichotomized (0-3 vs 4-6) modified Rankin Scale score at hospital discharge. Results Of 120 patients with AE (median age 43 years [interquartile range 24-62];70 females), 101 developed disorders of consciousness, 54 autonomic disturbances, 42 status epilepticus, and 39 severe sepsis. Sixty-eight patients were mechanically ventilated, 85 patients had detectable neuronal autoantibodies, and 35 patients were seronegative. Worse neurologic outcome at hospital discharge was associated with necessity of mechanical ventilation (sex- and age-adjusted OR 6.28;95% CI, 2.71-15.61) tracheostomy (adjusted OR 6.26;95% CI, 2.68-15.73), tumor (adjusted OR 3.73;95% CI, 1.35-11.57), sepsis (adjusted OR 4.54;95% CI, 1.99-10.43), or autonomic dysfunction (adjusted OR 2.91;95% CI, 1.24-7.3). No significant association was observed with autoantibody type, inflammatory changes in CSF, or pathologic MRI. Conclusion In patients with AE, mechanical ventilation, sepsis, and autonomic dysregulation appear to indicate longer or incomplete convalescence. Classic ICU complications better serve as prognostic markers than the individual subtype of AE. Increased awareness and effective management of these AE-related complications are warranted, and further prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings and to develop specific strategies for outcome improvement.