PANDAS: The Need to Use Definitive Diagnostic Criteria

  • Harvey S. Singer

Abstract

The entity Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS) was initially proposed in 1998 (Swedo, et al. 1998). The formal diagnosis required that the affected individual meet five specific criteria: prepubertal onset, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or a tic disorder, the dramatic sudden explosive onset of symptoms, a relapsing and remitting course of symptoms that are temporally associated with Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) infection, and the presence of other neuropsychiatric abnormalities (hyperactivity, emotional lability, anxiety, or piano-playing choreiform movements). Since that original report, the PANDAS hypothesis has remained controversial based on both clinical grounds and the failure to confirm a definitive immune process.  

This editorial was written in response to:

Helm CE, Blackwood RA. Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS): Experience at a tertiary referral center. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. 2015; 5. doi: 10.7916/D8348JCX