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Necrotising vasculitis with conduction block in mononeuropathy multiplex with cold agglutinins
  1. R OTSUKA,
  6. M OSAME
  1. The Third Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University School of Medicine, Sakuragaoka 8–35–1 Kagoshima, Japan
  1. Dr R Otsuka, The Third Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University School of Medicine, Sakuragaoka 8–35–1 Kagoshima, Japan. Telephone 0081 99 275 5332; fax 0081 99 265 7164; email reika{at}

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Cold agglutinins are cold reactive autoantibodies that have haemolytic effects on red blood cells mediated via complement fixation. Neuropathy associated with cold agglutinins has been described,1-5 however, details of its pathomechanism are unclear. Here, we report the clinical, electrophysiological, and pathological findings of a mononeuropathy multiplex in a patient with cold agglutinins, who responded very well to plasmapheresis.

A 72 year old man was admitted with a 1 month history of progressing dysaesthesia and weakness of the limbs. He had no anaemia, jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly, or lymphadenopathy. Cranial nerves and the cerebellum were not involved. There was severe weakness and atrophy of bilateral thenar, interossei, and plantar muscles with severe dysaesthesia of both palms and plantaris. Pin prick and light touch were reduced as well as position and vibratory sensation in both hands and feet. Deep tendon reflexes were hypoactive. Babinski’s sign was negative.

Laboratory investigation showed a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate: 52 mm/hour (normal <10) and serum C reactive protein: 1.8 mg/dl (normal; < 0.5). Blood cell counts were within normal limits. The following were normal or negative; IgG, IgA, IgE, IgM, M-protein, direct and indirect Coombs tests, cryoglobulin, antibodies to mycoplasma, myelin associated glycoprotein, gangliosides (GM1, GD1b, asialo-GM1, GT1b, GQ1b, Gal-C), P-ANCA, and C-ANCA. The CSF was normal. Titre of cold agglutinins was detectable at 1:1024 at 4°C (normal; <1:256). The patient’s serum agglutinated adult …

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