Long-term cardiovascular autonomic and clinical changes after immunoglobulin G immunoadsorption therapy in autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy

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Abstract

A 63-year-old male was diagnosed with autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy based on the finding of plasma antibodies to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) of autonomic ganglia. He complained of mouth and eye dryness, dysphagia, severe constipation, erectile dysfunction, urgency, frequent urination, habitual orthostatic syncope and presyncope. A remarkable symptomatic orthostatic hypotension without changes in heart rate was present. We here describe the 3-year time course of the changes in spectral indices of cardiovascular autonomic control LF/HF and LFSAP, dysautonomia symptoms intensity and anti-nAChR antibodies following repetitive selective immunoadsorptions. During the follow-up, the reduction of anti-nAChR antibodies produced by immunoadsorption was associated with a diminished orthostatic hypotension, a restored capability to increase LF/HF, LFSAP and norepinephrine in upright position, a decline in the intensity of autonomic symptoms and an improvement of life quality. Spectral parameters LF/HF and LFSAP may represent noninvasive, low-cost biomarkers suitable for autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy patients’ clinical follow-up.

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