Miller Fisher syndrome in infancy


Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) is characterized by the triad of ataxia, areflexia and ophthalmoplegia. It is exceptional for infants to be involved. Two infants, aged 11 and 16 months, developed acute-onset MFS. Both patients had prodromal upper respiratory tract infection. Pupillary responses to light, strength and sensation modalities were preserved. One patient was lethargic for a day; the electroencephalogram disclosed slightly slow background activity that later became normal. The other received high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins for 5 consecutive days starting at once on admission; within the next 7 days he became asymptomatic. Increased cerebrospinal fluid protein content and delayed nerve conduction studies with prolonged distal latencies were encountered in both patients.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Aicardi J (1992) Para-infectious and other inflammatory disorders of immunological origin. In: Aicardi J (ed) Diseases of the nervous system in childhood. MacKeith Press, Oxford, pp 697–731

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Arakawa Y, Yoshimura M, Kobayashi S, et al (1993) The use of intravenous immunoglobulin in Miller Fisher syndrome. Brain Dev 15:231–233

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Berlit P, Rakicky J (1992) The Miller Fisher syndrome. J Clin Neuroophthalmol 12:57–63

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Dwyer JM (1992) Manipulating the immune system with immune globulin. N Engl J Med 326:107–116

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Fisher M (1956) An unusual variant of acute idiopathic polyneuritis (syndrome of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and areflexia). N Engl J Med 225:57–65

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Green SH (1976) Polyradiculitis (Landry-Guillain-Barré syndrome) with total external ophthalmoplegia: encephalo-myelo-radiculo-neuropathy. Dev Med Child Neurol 18:369–380

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Marks HG, Augustyn P, Allen RJ (1977) Fisher's syndrome in children. Pediatrics 60:726–729

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Najim Al-Din S, Anderson M, EegOlofsson O, et al (1994) Neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of the syndrome of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and areflexia: a review. Acta Neurol Scand 89:157–163

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Qaqundah BY (1970) Miller Fisher syndrome in a 22-month-old child: brief clinical and laboratory observations. J Pediatr 77:868–870

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Roberts M, Willison H, Vincent A, et al (1994) Serum factor in Miller Fisher variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome and neurotransmitter release. Lancet 343:454–455

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Watters GV, Humphreys P (1981) Fisher syndrome in childhood. Neurology 31:555–560

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Willison HJ, Veitch J, Paterson G, et al (1993) Miller Fisher syndrome is associated with serum antibodies to GQ1b ganglioside. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 56:204–206

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Zifko U, Drlicek M, Senautka G, et al (1994) High dose immunoglobulin therapy is effective in the Miller Fisher syndrome (letter). J Neurol 241:187–189

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Julián Benito-León.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Benito-León, J., Bravo, J., Mateos, F. et al. Miller Fisher syndrome in infancy. Child's Nerv Syst 12, 559–561 (1996).

Download citation

Key words

  • Miller Fisher syndrome
  • Infancy
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome