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BACKGROUND: A variety of psychiatric syndromes are associated with NMDAR autoantibodies; however, their clinical relevance when only present in the serum is unclear. We explored whether patients with CSF NMDAR autoantibodies could be distinguished from patients with serum-only NMDAR autoantibodies. METHODS: The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and PsycINFO were searched. Articles reporting adult patients with isolated psychiatric features and positive for NMDAR autoantibodies with relevant investigations were included. Patient level meta-analysis compared patients positive for CSF NMDAR autoantibodies with patients positive for serum NMDAR autoantibodies, but negative for CSF NMDAR autoantibodies. Dichotomous data were analysed using crude odds ratios (OR), whilst continuous data were analysed using Mann-Whitney Test (U). The protocol was prospectively registered (CRD42018082210). RESULTS: Of 4413 publications, 42 were included, reporting 79 patients. Median age was 34 years (IQR 19 years); 56% (45/79) were female and 24% (16/68) had a tumour. In total, 41 patients were positive for CSF autoantibodies and 20 were positive for serum-only autoantibodies. Patients with CSF autoantibodies were significantly more likely to be female (p 

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurol

Publication Date



Antineuronal antibodies, Autoimmune encephalitis, Autoimmune psychosis, Meta-analysis, NMDAR, Psychosis