Is Ross Syndrome an Autoimmune Entity? A Case Series of 11 Patients

Ajay Kumar Mishra*, Meban Kharkongor, Cijoy K. Kuriakose, Anu Anna George, Dincy Peter, Ronal Albert Benton Carey, Vivek Mathew, Samuel George Hansdak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ross syndrome is diagnosed by the presence of segmental anhidrosis, areflexia, and tonic pupils. Fewer than 60 cases have been described in literature so far. There have been reports of presence of antibodies in such patients, suggesting an autoimmune pathogenesis. Methods: We describe the clinical profile in this case series of 11 patients with Ross syndrome and discuss the current status of autoimmunity in its pathogenesis and the management. Results: Of the 11 patients with Ross syndrome there was an almost equal sex distribution (male:female ratio was 1.17:1) and the mean age of onset of symptoms was 26 years. Patients took an average of 6 years to present to a tertiary center. Sixty-three percent of the patients presented with complaints of excessive sweating, whereas only 27% had complaints of decreased sweating over a particular area of the body. Only 45% of the patients had the complete triad of Ross syndrome, which included segmental anhidrosis, tonic pupil, and absent reflexes. Eighty-nine percent of the patients had documented absent sympathetic skin response on electromyography. The various markers of autoimmunity were negative in all patients who were investigated for the same in this series. Ninety percent of the patients were managed conservatively. Conclusions: These findings suggest that, in Ross syndrome, generalized injury to ganglion cells or their projections are not purely autoimmune-mediated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-321
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical neurosciences
  • Dermatology
  • Peripheral neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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