Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Subacute autonomic and sensory neuropathy closely related to cytomegalovirus infection preceded by frequent syncopal attacks

Koichi Nakao, M.D.1)2), Michito Namekawa, M.D.1)3), Soichi Kondo, M.D.1)4), Sayaka Ono, M.D.1)3) and Imaharu Nakano, M.D.1)

1)Division of Neurology, Department of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University
2)Department of Neurology, Junwakai Memorial Hospital
3)Department of Neurology, Saitama Medical Center, Jichi Medical University
4)Department of Neurology, Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital

A 73-year-old woman who had hypertension developed a slight fever and general malaise with laboratory-proven hepatic dysfunction as well as frequent syncopal attacks 3 months before admission to our hospital. One month later, she developed urinary retention and distal limb numbness. Upon admission, her neurological examination showed reduced limb tendon reflexes, glove and stocking-type numbness, and diminished senses of touch, temperature, pain, and distal leg vibration and position. Serum cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM antibody and CMV IgG antibody were elevated on admission, and both decreased thereafter, confirming CMV infection. No serum anti-ganglioside antibody was detected. Cerebrospinal fluid revealed a mild pleocytosis and elevated proteins. Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitudes of the tibial and peroneal nerve were slightly reduced. Sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitudes of the median and ulnar nerves were reduced, and sural SNAP was not evoked. Systolic blood pressure dropped 48 mmHg when the patient assumed a standing position from a supine one, demonstrating orthostatic hypotension, and a cold pressor test was abnormal, both indicating an obvious hypofunction of the sympathetic nerve. The postganglionic autonomic nerve appeared to be damaged because the accumulation of [123I] meta-iodobenzylguanidine was reduced on myocardial scintigraphy. These findings combined together led us to make a diagnosis of subacute autonomic and sensory neuropathy associated with CMV infection in this case. Following an eventless administration of oral fludrocortisones, intravenous immuno-globulin (IVIg) was given after one month of the hospitalization with a remarkable reduction of the syncope. This case is instructive in two points. One is that there may be a couple of months with syncope alone before the sensory disturbance appearance, and the other is that IVIg may be considerably effective for the patient-annoying syncopes. To our knowledge, this is the first report of subacute autonomic and sensory neuropathy caused by CMV infection.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (479K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 56: 555|559, 2016)
key words: subacute autonomic and sensory neuropathy, syncope, cytomegalovirus, IVIg

(Received: 12-Jan-16)