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Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a rare syndrome of severe inflammatory demyelination of the central nervous system, causing attacks of optic neuritis and transverse myelitis. Although uncommon, attention should be given to the proper identification and management of the affected patients. We present a case of a 13-year-old girl with severe neuromyelitis optica. The patient’s initial presentation consisted of encephalopathy and optic neuritis. Approximately 2 months later, coinciding with the weaning of steroid treatment, she presented with ascending paralysis and respiratory failure. She was seropositive for NMO-IgG. Treatment included intravenous immune globulin, steroids, plasmapheresis, and rituximab and was complemented with proper nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and intense rehabilitation. Two years after the initial presentation and one short relapse, the patient has made a remarkable recovery without neurologic deficit. This report underscores the difficulty in making the initial diagnosis, choosing the best treatment, and the need for more streamlined pediatric guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of relapses of pediatric NMO.

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Case Reports in Pediatrics, v. 2013, art. 124929

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