2018 Volume 57 Issue 23 Pages 3451-3458
Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus (PERM) is an autoimmune disorder involving the brainstem and spinal cord and is sometimes associated with thymoma. We encountered a 75-year-old woman with typical PERM features, glycine receptor antibody, and thymoma. Her neurologic symptoms improved after thymectomy, but she unexpectedly developed anasarca with massive pleural effusions and hypoalbuminemia and finally succumbed to death. The autopsy showed edema and mononuclear infiltration in the pleura but no neuropathological findings typical of PERM. Effective treatment of PERM can reverse the neuropathological signs of encephalomyelitis. The autoimmune nature of anasarca is possible but not proven.