A 30-year-old woman developed symptoms, signs and neurophysiology consistent with Guillain-Barré syndrome and was admitted to the neurosciences intensive care unit owing to respiratory compromise. Here, she received a clonidine infusion for agitation, complicated by a minor hypotensive episode, following which she became unconscious. MR scan of the brain showed changes compatible with hypoxic brain injury. Urinary amino acids showed increased urinary α-ketoglutarate. Genetic testing using whole-exome sequencing identified pathogenic variants in the SLC13A3 gene known to be associated with an acute reversible leukoencephalopathy with increased urinary α-ketoglutarate. The case highlights the importance of considering inborn errors of metabolism in cases of unexplained encephalopathy.
- METABOLIC DISEASE
- GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME
- CLINICAL NEUROLOGY
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Data are available on reasonable request.
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Contributors FCK: contributed to manuscript writing, literature searching and data collection; NH: contributed to technical advice, and figure creation; GG: contributed to technical advice; MH: contributed to idea conception, proof-reading, guarantor for this manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally reviewed by Edward Needham, Cambridge UK.