Graus et al reported criteria for the diagnosis of various types of autoimmune encephalitis. One of these is Bickerstaff's brainstem encephalitis. The authors are from multiple institutions from around the world.

Patient selection: encephalitis


Criteria for probable Bickerstaff's brainstem encephalitis:

(1) subacute onset (rapid progression < 4 weeks)

(2) all of the following:

(2a) decreased level of consciousness

(2b) bilateral external ophthalmoplegia

(2c) ataxia

(3) reasonable exclusion of alternative diagnoses


Criteria for definite Bickerstaff's brainstem encephalitis:

(1) presence of IgG anti-CQ1b antibodies (even if some of the clinical findings are absent)

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