Objective To clarify the clinical features of myelitis associated with atopic disorders in Japanese patients. Subjects and Methods We retrospectively studied the clinical, immunological and electrophysiological features of 68 consecutive patients with myelitis of acute or subacute onset diagnosed at Kyushu University Hospital during the past 20 years. Results While only 2 of 28 (7% ) patients with myelitis diagnosed between 1979 and 1993 had either atopic dermatitis (AD) or bronchial asthma (BA), 19 of 40 (48%) patients with myelitis diagnosed between 1994 and 1998 did. Among the 40 patients with myelitis diagnosed between 1994 and 1998, 19 patients with either AD or BA as well as 21 patients without either disease showed a significantly higher level of serum total IgE, higher frequency of hyperIgEaemia and higher frequency of mite antigen-specific IgE than 82 healthy controls. Myelitis patients with AD presenting as persistent paresthesia/dysesthesia in all four limbs showed cervical cord lesions on MRI and abnormalities in upper limb motor evoked potentials but no abnormalities in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), while myelitis patients with BA showed preferential involvement of the lower motor neurons clinically and electromyographically. In addition, 12 patients with myelitis who had hyperIgEaemia and mite antigen-specific IgE but neither AD nor BA showed incomplete transverse myelitis with mild motor disability and few CSF abnormalities. Conclusion The clinical features of myelitis associated with atopic disorders were in part distinguished by the type of preceding atopic disorder, and also were different from those of hyperIgEaemic myelitis with no preceding atopic disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine