Dorsal cauda equina nerve root enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging due to ANNA-1-associated paraneoplastic polyneuropathy

Ajay A. Madhavan, Julie B. Guerin, Laurence J. Eckel, Vance T. Lehman, Carrie M. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A 69-year-old female presented with subacute onset ascending weakness and paraesthesias. She was initially diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) based on her clinical presentation and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis showing albuminocytological dissociation. However, she was later found to have anti-neuronal nuclear antibody 1 (ANNA-1/anti-Hu)-positive CSF and was subsequently diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer. Her neurological symptoms were ultimately attributed to ANNA-1/anti-Hu-associated paraneoplastic polyneuropathy. During the course of her evaluation, she had magnetic resonance imaging findings of dorsal predominant cauda equina nerve root enhancement, which has not been previously described. The only previously reported case of cauda equina enhancement due to ANNA-1-associated polyneuropathy described ventral predominant findings. The distinction between ventral and dorsal enhancement is important, since it suggests that different patterns of nerve root involvement may be associated with this paraneoplastic syndrome. Therefore, ANNA-1-associated paraneoplastic inflammatory polyneuropathy can be considered in the differential diagnosis of cauda equina nerve root enhancement with ventral and/or dorsal predominance. This can potentially be helpful in differentiating ANNA-1 polyneuropathy from GBS, which classically has ventral predominant enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • ANNA-1
  • Paraneoplastic polyneuropathy
  • anti-Hu
  • cauda equina enhancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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