Miller Fischer syndrome (MFS) is a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome first described in 1956 and is characterised by the clinical triad of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and areflexia. However, since its discovery, forme fruste and overlapping syndrome have been described. A forme fruste of MFS implies an attenuated form where not all of the clinical triad are present. In this report, a case of MFS is highlighted that was mistakenly treated as posterior circulation stroke, as well as the challenges faced in reaching the correct diagnosis and hence the appropriate treatment.
Severe sepsis with multi-organ failure is associated with a high mortality rate. This case report highlights the challenges and modalities available in the management of a lady with refractory shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) due to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) from genital tract sepsis. Early surgical intervention to remove the source of infection, the use of recombinant activated factor VII to treat intractable disseminated intravascular coagulation and intravenous immunoglobulin to neutralise the circulating exotoxins, have been employed and shown to drastically improve outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: IVIG is known to confer significant benefit in rheumatologic conditions, including inflammatory myopathy. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of IVIG across different aspects of internal organ involvement in refractory active SSc, particularly the gastrointestinal (GI) system.
METHODS: SSc patients with overlap polymyositis who remained active and unresponsive to conventional disease-modifying agents and who subsequently received IVIG were identified. GI symptoms were assessed using validated questionnaires. The Medical Research Council Sum Score for muscle strength and modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS) were assessed. Serial measurements were undertaken at baseline prior to the first IVIG treatment and post-treatment in the most recent assessment.
RESULTS: Fifteen SSc patients were consecutively recruited into this observational study. The mean duration of IVIG treatment was 2.3 years, with treatment frequency ranging from every 6 weeks to 4 months. Compared with baseline, there was a significant reduction in gastro-oesophageal reflux frequency and intensity mean scores (P = 0.006 and P = 0.013, respectively). Significant improvement in the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) 2.0 score from a baseline mean score of 1.07 (s.d. 0.67) to 0.60 (0.46) (P = 0.002) was observed. There was regression in the markers of muscle disease with a reduction in the mean (s.d.) Medical Research Council sum score and the median creatine kinase level (P = 0.001 and P = 0.025, respectively). Significant amelioration of the mean basal modified Rodnan skin score from 21.5 (s.d. 13.8) to 10 (10.6) (P = 0.005) was observed.
CONCLUSION: IVIG may be a helpful adjunctive therapy in the amelioration of some key clinical aspects in refractory SSc. Sustained benefit from IVIG suggests a specific immunomodulatory effect on those with established SSc GI complications.
Study site: Royal Free Hospital, United Kingdom