We previously reported the occurrence of myelitis in patients with atopic disorders (atopic myelitis [AM]). To uncover the spectrum of neural damage associated with atopy, we conducted a cross-sectional nationwide survey of AM and atopy-related peripheral neuritis (APN), including Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS), in individuals with atopic diathesis. Cases with AM diagnosed between 1996 and 2006 and cases with APN between 2000 and 2006 were collected from all over Japan. Detailed data on 109 patients with AM and 133 patients with APN were collated. Patients with APN showed a preponderance of women, higher age at onset, and greater eosinophil counts than patients with AM. Patients with AM most commonly showed cervical cord involvement, whereas patients with APN preferentially exhibited mononeuritis multiplex predominantly affecting the lower limbs. Among patients with AM, motor weakness and muscle atrophy were significantly more frequent in those with bronchial asthma than in those with other atopic disorders. Patients with APN who met the criteria for CSS showed a higher age at onset, higher frequencies of systemic organ involvement, and greater disability than those who did not. Abnormalities suggesting peripheral nervous system involvement were seen in 25.7% of patients with AM, whereas 18.8% of patients with APN had abnormalities indicating CNS involvement. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that atopic dermatitis increased the risk of myelitis, whereas high age at onset and bronchial asthma decreased that risk. Atopy-related neural inflammation multifocally affects CNS and peripheral nervous system tissues. Both preceding atopic disorders and age seem to influence the distribution of neural damage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology