Neurological Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 67–73 | Cite as

Atypical clinical manifestations of Miller Fisher syndrome

  • Jae Ho Jung
  • Eun Hye Oh
  • Jin-Hong Shin
  • Dae-Seong Kim
  • Seo-Young Choi
  • Kwang-Dong Choi
  • Jae-Hwan ChoiEmail author
Original Article


Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) is characterized by a clinical triad of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and areflexia, and is closely associated with serum anti-GQ1b antibody. Although the clinical triad is the cardinal diagnostic clue, a variety of other symptoms and signs beyond the triad have been reported. To elucidate the frequency and characteristics of atypical clinical manifestations of MFS, we recruited 38 patients with MFS and evaluated the symptoms or signs beyond the classic triad. Eleven (29%) of 38 patients had atypical clinical manifestations of MFS such as headache (n = 6), delayed facial palsy (n = 3), divergence insufficiency (n = 2), and taste impairment (n = 2). Headache was localized to the periorbital (n = 3), temporal (n = 2), or whole (n = 1) area. Only one of them showed bilateral papilledema and an elevated opening pressure in cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Delayed facial palsy developed after the other signs have reached nadir (n = 1) or started to improve (n = 2), and did not follow a pattern of descending paralysis with other cranial neuropathies. Two patients showed divergence insufficiency without external ophthalmoplegia, and another two had taste impairment over the entire tongue without the other signs of facial and glossopharyngeal nerve involvements. Our study shows that approximately 30% of MFS patients can have atypical clinical manifestations beyond the classic triad. These results reflect the broad clinical spectrum of MFS, and might be associated with the presence of additional antiganglioside antibodies besides anti-GQ1b in patients with MFS.


Miller Fisher syndrome Headache Delayed facial palsy Anti-GQ1b antibody 


Compliance with ethical standards

All experiments followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki and were approved by the Institutional Review Board of Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital. Informed contents were obtained after the nature and possible consequence of this study had been explained to participants.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologySeoul National University HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and TechnologyPusan National University Yangsan HospitalYangsanSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Pusan National University School of Medicine and Biomedical Research InstitutePusan National University HospitalBusanSouth Korea

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