[Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration with asymmetrical pan-cerebellar syndrome]

Rev Neurol. 1998 Jun;26(154):1015-7.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Paraneoplasic cerebellar degeneration is seen clinically as a pancerebellar condition which is usually symmetrical. Different families of tumours are associated with this, particularly (in view of its frequency) oat cell pulmonary carcinoma, gynecological tumours and Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Clinical case: Signs of cerebellar atrophy were seen on MR and cortical hypoperfusion was seen on Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT). We present the case of a 76 year old woman who presented with an asymmetrical pancerebellar disorder of gradual onset, with positive anti-self antibodies and undifferentiated carcinoma of the breast.

Conclusions: Paraneoplasic cerebellar degeneration should be suspected in a patient with symmetrical, progressive cerebellar disease. The syndrome characteristically starts with a slightly uncoordinated gait. This progresses over a period of weeks or months to an ataxic gait with incoordination of the limbs, dysarthria and frequently nystagmus with oscilloscopy. No satisfactory treatment has been found for DCP in spite of trials with vitamins, corticosteroids, plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin infusion. Slight improvement may be seen after treatment of the primary tumour.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / complications*
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Aged
  • Atrophy
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / etiology*
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Dysarthria / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / etiology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology
  • Vertigo / etiology
  • Vomiting / etiology