Petra Došeková, Georgi Krastev, Jozef Haring, Rastislav Lackovič
Objective: Two case reports of Stiff person syndrome (SPS) and SPS variant- Stiff limb syndrome.
Background: Stiff person syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder of central nervous system characterized by progressive
rigidity of axial and limb muscles and episodic painful spasms. SPS can be classified into classic SPS, paraneoplastic
SPS and its variants- e.g. Stiff limb syndrome. Diagnostic criteria are based on typical clinical signs and EMG findings
showing contionuous motor unit activity at rest. In most cases antibodies against acid decarboxylase (GAD) are
observed. Treatment is symptomatic using drugs that enhance GABA transimission and immnodomudulatory therapy.
Methods: Recommended guidelines for SPS therapy with use of symptomatic treatment and immunomodulatory therapy.
Results: Two case report: Patient 1 is a 41 year old patient with classis SPS. The paraneoplastic etiology in this patient
was ruled out, also there was no evidence for any autoimmune disorder. Symptomatic therapy with baclofen (3 x 25 mg)
and diazepam (3 x 5 mg), following with 5 sessions of plasma exchange showed no benefit. Afterwards he was treated
with IVIG (0,4 g/kg/day given over 5 days) with significant improvement lasting 7 months when treatment with IVIG
was repeated. After 2 months the treatment with IVIG was repeated. Eventually we started chronic immunosuppresive
treatment with azathioprine (100 mg/d) and methylprednisolone (16 mg/d). We continue symptomathical treatment using
GABA-analogs. Treatment is well tolerated, patient is with no significant disability. Patient 2 is a 52 year old woman
treated for Hashimoto´s thyroiditis, diagnosed with SPS variant- Stiff limb syndrome affected her right upper limb. The
symptomatic therapy with baclofen (30 mg/d) and diazepam (3 x 5 mg) was not tolerated, plasma exchange showed no
benefit. We started treatment with IVIG (0,4 g/kg/day given over 5 days) with significant benefit. Afterwards we started
chronic treatment with azathioprine (100 mg/d) and methyprednisolone (16 mg/d), symptomatical treatment using
GABA-analogs is continued. Treatment is well tolerated with good clinical benefit with no need to repeat IVIG therapy.
Conclusions: SPS is a rare disorder, often misdiagnosed, highly heterogeneous in its manifestation. If left untretaded it
could lead to serious disability or eventually to death. Treatment is difficult and change from case to case.