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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 18

BMJ Case Rep



Autoimmune glial fibrillar acidic protein astrocytopathy mimicking tuberculous meningitis.



Autoimmune glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) astrocytopathy typically presents as acute or subacute meningoencephalitis with or without myelitis. We describe a case of autoimmune GFAP astrocytopathy that mimicked tuberculous meningitis. A man in his 70s was referred to our hospital with lethargy persistent for 2 months, appetite loss for 1 month and fever with headache for 10 days. The cerebrospinal fluid test revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis with elevated adenosine deaminase (ADA). Laboratory investigations ruled out microbial and neoplastic causes. Empirical therapy for tuberculous meningitis combined with corticosteroid improved the patient's condition. Culture for failed to show microbial growth despite 1 month of incubation. The cerebrospinal fluid was examined for GFAP antibody and returned positive result. Antituberculous agents were discontinued, and corticosteroid was administered until patient's symptoms resolved completely. Thus, clinicians should consider autoimmune GFAP astrocytopathy as one of the differential diagnoses of lymphocytic meningitis with elevated ADA.