Paraneoplastic Myeloneuropathies: Clinical, Oncologic, and Serologic Accompaniments

Shailee Shah, Rocio Vazquez Do Campo, Neeraj Kumar, Andrew McKeon, Eoin P. Flanagan, Christopher Klein, Sean J. Pittock, Divyanshu Dubey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ObjectiveTo test the hypothesis that myeloneuropathy is a presenting phenotype of paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes we retrospectively reviewed clinical, radiologic, and serologic features of 32 patients with concomitant paraneoplastic spinal cord and peripheral nervous system involvement.MethodsObservational study investigating patients with myeloneuropathy and underlying cancer or onconeural antibody seropositivity.ResultsAmong 32 patients with paraneoplastic myeloneuropathy, 20 (63%) were women with median age 61 years (range 27-84 years). Twenty-six patients (81%) had classified onconeural antibodies (amphiphysin, n = 8; antineuronal nuclear antibody [ANNA] type 1 [anti-Hu], n = 5; collapsin response mediator protein 5 [CRMP5] [anti-CV2], n = 6; Purkinje cell cytoplasmic antibody type 1 [PCA1] [anti-Yo], n = 1; Purkinje cell cytoplasmic antibody type 2 [PCA2], n = 2; kelch-like protein 11 [KLHL11], n = 1; and combinations thereof: ANNA1/CRMP5, n = 1; ANNA1/amphiphysin, n = 1; ANNA3/CRMP5, n = 1). Cancer was confirmed in 25 cases (onconeural antibodies, n = 19; unclassified antibodies, n = 3; no antibodies, n = 3). Paraneoplastic myeloneuropathies had asymmetric paresthesias (84%), neuropathic pain (78%), subacute onset (72%), sensory ataxia (69%), bladder dysfunction (69%), and unintentional weight loss >15 pounds (63%). Neurologic examination demonstrated concomitant distal or asymmetric hyporeflexia and hyperreflexia (81%), impaired vibration and proprioception (69%), Babinski response (68%), and asymmetric weakness (66%). MRI showed longitudinally extensive (45%), tract-specific spinal cord T2 hyperintensities (39%) and lumbar nerve root enhancement (38%). Ten of 28 (36%) were unable to ambulate independently at last follow-up (median 24 months, range 5-133 months). Combined oncologic and immunologic therapy had more favorable modified Rankin Scale scores at post-treatment follow-up compared to those receiving either oncologic or immunologic therapy alone (2 [range 1-4] vs 4 [range 2-6], p < 0.001).ConclusionsParaneoplastic etiologies should be considered in the evaluation of subacute myeloneuropathies. Recognition of key characteristics of paraneoplastic myeloneuropathy may facilitate early tumor diagnosis and initiation of immunosuppressive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E632-E639
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 26 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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