Autoimmune-Mediated Encephalitis

  • H. UrbachEmail author
  • P. T. Meyer
  • G. Jamneala
Living reference work entry


Autoimmune-mediated encephalitis (AE) is considered an under-recognized disease with many neurological syndromes and specific antibodies described in the past 10 years. Clinical neuroradiology, using different radiological and nuclear medicine techniques such as MRI and FDG-PET, plays a crucial role in suggesting the diagnosis of AE. Bilateral medial temporal lobe T2 hyperintensities are a diagnostic core feature in autoimmune limbic encephalitis and typically predate antibody detection. Specific antibodies are targeted against intracellular or neuronal surface antigens and suggest a either paraneoplastic or non-paraneoplastic origin. MRI is abnormal in around 70% of patients with autoimmune limbic encephalitis and has a lower sensitivity than FDG-PET. The main indication to perform MRI remains the exclusion of a broad list of differential diagnoses.


MRI Autoimmune encephalitis Limbic encephalitis Amygdala VGKC NMDAR Onconeural 


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Further Readings

  1. da Rocha AJ, Nunes RH, Maia AC Jr, do Amaral LL. Recognizing autoimmune-mediated encephalitis in the differential diagnosis of limbic disorders. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015;36:2196–205.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroradiology, Faculty of MedicineMedical Center – University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of MedicineMedical Center – University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alex Rovira
    • 1
  1. 1.University Hospital Vall d’HebronBarcelonaSpain

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