Antibodies of the anti-Yo and anti-Ri type in the absence of paraneoplastic neurological syndromes: a long-term survey of ovarian cancer patients

J Neurol. 1997 Feb;244(2):85-9. doi: 10.1007/s004150050054.


In recent years several authors have described a close correlation between circulating antineuronal antibodies of different types and the occurrence of paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. Because this has not been widely accepted, we screened 300 serum samples from 181 ovarian cancer patients for the presence of circulating antineuronal antibodies by immunofluorescence. The findings were confirmed by immunoblotting. In 11 patients circulating antineuronal antibodies were detected. In 4 patients they were classified as anti-Yo and in 7 as anti-Ri, titres ranging from 1:400 to 1: 204,800. All the patients underwent thorough neurological and neurophysiological investigations, with special regard to paraneoplastic syndrome. None of them had symptoms pointing to a paraneoplastic neurological syndrome, although patients were followed up to 2 years after the first examination. Thus the frequency of circulating antineuronal antibodies in ovarian cancer patients is higher than the frequency of paraneoplastic syndromes, and antibody positivity does not necessarily lead to the appearance of a neurological paraneoplastic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Cystadenoma, Serous / immunology
  • Cystadenoma, Serous / pathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / immunology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / immunology*
  • Ribonucleases / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • CDR1 protein, human
  • CDR2 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • ribonuclease inhibitor, brain
  • Ribonucleases