EFFECT OF PLASMAPHERESIS AND PASSAGE OF ANTI-RETINAL ANTIBODIES THROUGH THE PLACENTA IN A CASE OF NON-PARANEOPLASTIC AUTOIMMUNE RETINOPATHY

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Abstract

Purpose:

To present a case of nonparaneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy in association with myasthenia gravis in a young woman, and to report the effect of plasmapheresis as well as passage of antiretinal antibodies through the placenta.

Methods:

Case report.

Results:

A 31-year-old woman presented with a history of myasthenia gravis and rapidly progressive vision loss at the age of 23. Funduscopic appearance and fluorescein angiographic findings on presentation were consistent with an autoimmune retinopathy. Paraneoplastic etiology was ruled out, and antiretinal antibody testing revealed positivity for autoantibodies against GAPDH, aldolase, enolase, arrestin, as well as unnamed 48-kDa and 60-kDa proteins. ARA Western Blot and immunohistochemistry profiles were unchanged by either plasmapheresis therapy or passage of serum through the maternal placenta. However, the patient's 6-month and 8-year-old daughters appeared unaffected.

Conclusion:

This is the first report of nonparaneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy associated with myasthenia gravis, although a strong history of autoimmune disorders is a known risk factor. Our patient's antiretinal antibody panel was unaffected immediately after plasmapheresis treatment. Antibodies to GAPDH and unnamed 38-kDa and 86-kDa proteins were able to pass through the placenta into the fetal circulation, although their effect on the growing fetus is not clear.

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