Marked hypotonia in an infant of a mother with devic disease

Eyal Zifman, Ita Litmanovitz, Gil Segal, Rivka Regev, Nathan Watemberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A full-term female neonate was born with severe hypotonia and weakness. Her mother had been treated for neuromyelitis optica (Devic disease) for 6 years. Her previous son, born 10 years earlier and before she developed the disease, also had marked hypotonia that gradually improved over several weeks. A suspicion of neonatal myasthenia gravis arose, as a search of the literature revealed the occasional detection of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies in patients with Devic disease. A neostigmine test was mildly positive in the baby, but anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies were elevated. Aquaporin 4 antibodies typical of neuromyelitis optica were not detected in the infant. Because of clinical deterioration, intravenous immunoglobulin was administered with substantial improvement. Anti-acetylcholine antibodies were markedly elevated in the mother's serum, although she showed no clinical signs of myasthenia gravis. It is very likely that her previous baby also had unrecognized transient myasthenia gravis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-747
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Intravenous immunoglobulin
  • Neonatal myasthenia
  • Neuromyelitis optica


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