Chronic pain as a manifestation of potassium channel-complex autoimmunity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Autoantibodies targeting voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complexes cause a spectrum of neuronal hyperexcitability disorders. We investigated pain as a manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Methods: We reviewed the prevalence and characteristics of pain in VGKC- compleximmunoglobulin G (IgG)-seropositive patients in 25 months of comprehensive service testing for neural autoantibodies, subtyped positive sera for LGI1-IgG and CASPR2-IgG specificities, and reviewed pain prevalence in autoimmune control patients. Results: VGKC-complex-IgG was identified in 1,992 patients of 54,853 tested (4%). Of 316 evaluated neurologically at Mayo Clinic, 159 (50%) had pain, in isolation (28%) or with accompanying neurologic manifestations (72%), and not attributable to alternative cause. Pain was subacute in onset, chronic in course, neuropathic, nociceptive, regional, or diffuse and sometimes attributed to fibromyalgia (6%) or psychogenic cause (13%). Most patients had normal peripheral nervous system function, measured by neuropathy impairment scores and nerve conduction. Evidence of neuronal hyperexcitability (hyperhidrosis, quantitative heat-pain hyperalgesia, or electromyographic excitability) was 25-fold more common in pain patients. Pain management required multiple medications in 70% (narcotics, 30%); 13 of 16 patients reported pain relief with immunotherapy. Pain was significantly associated with CASPR2-IgG-positivity (16% positive with pain, 7% without pain; p = 0.014) but not with LGI1-IgG. Less than 10% of 167 patients with neural autoantibodies other than VGKC-complex-IgG reported pain. Conclusions: Chronic idiopathic pain is a syndromic manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Hyperexcitability of nociceptive pathways is implicated. CASPR2-IgG significantly associates with pain, but in most patients the antigenic VGKC-complex molecule remains to be determined. VGKC-complex autoimmunity represents an important new direction for pain research and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1144
Number of pages9
JournalNeurology
Volume79
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 2012

Fingerprint

Potassium Channels
Autoimmunity
Chronic Pain
Pain
Immunoglobulin G
Autoantibodies
Hyperhidrosis
Hyperalgesia
Manifestation
Hot Temperature
Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels
Fibromyalgia
Neural Conduction
Narcotics
Peripheral Nervous System
Pain Management
Neurologic Manifestations
Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Chronic pain as a manifestation of potassium channel-complex autoimmunity. / Klein, Christopher Jon; Lennon, Vanda A; Aston, Paula A.; McKeon, Andrew B; Pittock, Sean J.

In: Neurology, Vol. 79, No. 11, 11.09.2012, p. 1136-1144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Chronic pain as a manifestation of potassium channel-complex autoimmunity",
abstract = "Objective: Autoantibodies targeting voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complexes cause a spectrum of neuronal hyperexcitability disorders. We investigated pain as a manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Methods: We reviewed the prevalence and characteristics of pain in VGKC- compleximmunoglobulin G (IgG)-seropositive patients in 25 months of comprehensive service testing for neural autoantibodies, subtyped positive sera for LGI1-IgG and CASPR2-IgG specificities, and reviewed pain prevalence in autoimmune control patients. Results: VGKC-complex-IgG was identified in 1,992 patients of 54,853 tested (4{\%}). Of 316 evaluated neurologically at Mayo Clinic, 159 (50{\%}) had pain, in isolation (28{\%}) or with accompanying neurologic manifestations (72{\%}), and not attributable to alternative cause. Pain was subacute in onset, chronic in course, neuropathic, nociceptive, regional, or diffuse and sometimes attributed to fibromyalgia (6{\%}) or psychogenic cause (13{\%}). Most patients had normal peripheral nervous system function, measured by neuropathy impairment scores and nerve conduction. Evidence of neuronal hyperexcitability (hyperhidrosis, quantitative heat-pain hyperalgesia, or electromyographic excitability) was 25-fold more common in pain patients. Pain management required multiple medications in 70{\%} (narcotics, 30{\%}); 13 of 16 patients reported pain relief with immunotherapy. Pain was significantly associated with CASPR2-IgG-positivity (16{\%} positive with pain, 7{\%} without pain; p = 0.014) but not with LGI1-IgG. Less than 10{\%} of 167 patients with neural autoantibodies other than VGKC-complex-IgG reported pain. Conclusions: Chronic idiopathic pain is a syndromic manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Hyperexcitability of nociceptive pathways is implicated. CASPR2-IgG significantly associates with pain, but in most patients the antigenic VGKC-complex molecule remains to be determined. VGKC-complex autoimmunity represents an important new direction for pain research and therapy.",
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AU - Pittock, Sean J

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N2 - Objective: Autoantibodies targeting voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complexes cause a spectrum of neuronal hyperexcitability disorders. We investigated pain as a manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Methods: We reviewed the prevalence and characteristics of pain in VGKC- compleximmunoglobulin G (IgG)-seropositive patients in 25 months of comprehensive service testing for neural autoantibodies, subtyped positive sera for LGI1-IgG and CASPR2-IgG specificities, and reviewed pain prevalence in autoimmune control patients. Results: VGKC-complex-IgG was identified in 1,992 patients of 54,853 tested (4%). Of 316 evaluated neurologically at Mayo Clinic, 159 (50%) had pain, in isolation (28%) or with accompanying neurologic manifestations (72%), and not attributable to alternative cause. Pain was subacute in onset, chronic in course, neuropathic, nociceptive, regional, or diffuse and sometimes attributed to fibromyalgia (6%) or psychogenic cause (13%). Most patients had normal peripheral nervous system function, measured by neuropathy impairment scores and nerve conduction. Evidence of neuronal hyperexcitability (hyperhidrosis, quantitative heat-pain hyperalgesia, or electromyographic excitability) was 25-fold more common in pain patients. Pain management required multiple medications in 70% (narcotics, 30%); 13 of 16 patients reported pain relief with immunotherapy. Pain was significantly associated with CASPR2-IgG-positivity (16% positive with pain, 7% without pain; p = 0.014) but not with LGI1-IgG. Less than 10% of 167 patients with neural autoantibodies other than VGKC-complex-IgG reported pain. Conclusions: Chronic idiopathic pain is a syndromic manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Hyperexcitability of nociceptive pathways is implicated. CASPR2-IgG significantly associates with pain, but in most patients the antigenic VGKC-complex molecule remains to be determined. VGKC-complex autoimmunity represents an important new direction for pain research and therapy.

AB - Objective: Autoantibodies targeting voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complexes cause a spectrum of neuronal hyperexcitability disorders. We investigated pain as a manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Methods: We reviewed the prevalence and characteristics of pain in VGKC- compleximmunoglobulin G (IgG)-seropositive patients in 25 months of comprehensive service testing for neural autoantibodies, subtyped positive sera for LGI1-IgG and CASPR2-IgG specificities, and reviewed pain prevalence in autoimmune control patients. Results: VGKC-complex-IgG was identified in 1,992 patients of 54,853 tested (4%). Of 316 evaluated neurologically at Mayo Clinic, 159 (50%) had pain, in isolation (28%) or with accompanying neurologic manifestations (72%), and not attributable to alternative cause. Pain was subacute in onset, chronic in course, neuropathic, nociceptive, regional, or diffuse and sometimes attributed to fibromyalgia (6%) or psychogenic cause (13%). Most patients had normal peripheral nervous system function, measured by neuropathy impairment scores and nerve conduction. Evidence of neuronal hyperexcitability (hyperhidrosis, quantitative heat-pain hyperalgesia, or electromyographic excitability) was 25-fold more common in pain patients. Pain management required multiple medications in 70% (narcotics, 30%); 13 of 16 patients reported pain relief with immunotherapy. Pain was significantly associated with CASPR2-IgG-positivity (16% positive with pain, 7% without pain; p = 0.014) but not with LGI1-IgG. Less than 10% of 167 patients with neural autoantibodies other than VGKC-complex-IgG reported pain. Conclusions: Chronic idiopathic pain is a syndromic manifestation of VGKC-complex autoimmunity. Hyperexcitability of nociceptive pathways is implicated. CASPR2-IgG significantly associates with pain, but in most patients the antigenic VGKC-complex molecule remains to be determined. VGKC-complex autoimmunity represents an important new direction for pain research and therapy.

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