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Abstract Details

Anti-Tr/DNER Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration with Marked Cerebellar and Psychological Symptoms Responsive to Plasma Exchange
Autoimmune Neurology
P5 - Poster Session 5 (11:45 AM-12:45 PM)
6-025

Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration accompanying Hodgkin’s disease may have its onset prior to detection of the underlying malignancy, during its course, or following treatment.  The major associated autoantibody, anti-Tr, is reactive with neuronal delta/notch-like epidermal growth factor-related receptors (DNER), an autoantibody not included in all paraneoplastic testing screens.  The condition characterized by progressive cerebellar injury, and response to immunosuppressive therapy and tumor treatment is generally poor.  

We present a patient who developed cerebellar degeneration and severe psychological symptoms leading to the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease and detection of anti-Tr/DNER antibodies.  The patient failed to respond methylprednisolone, intravenous immunoglobulin G, rituximab, and tumor treatment but had significant improvement with plasma exchange (PLEX).

Case Presentation: A 60-year-old male presented with diplopia, progressive loss of balance, and ataxia, with impaired short-term memory, confusion, and anger outbursts.  Initial commercial screen for paraneoplastic autoantibodies was negative.  Two months following his initial presentation he developed inguinal lymphadenopathy.  He was diagnosed as having Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 1B and found by a second laboratory to have anti-TR/DNER antibodies (Titer 1:3480; Reference range <1:240), an antibody not included in the initial testing panel.  CSF analysis was notable for a protein of 92mg/dL. MRI demonstrated normal findings for age.

Treatment with Doxorubicin-Bleomycin-Vinblastine-Dacarbazine (ABVD), pulse methylprednisolone, and intravenous immunoglobulin did not affect progression of neurological symptoms.  Plasma exchange (PLEX), however, resulted in marked improvement.  Symptoms worsened during subsequent  treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins and rituximab but improved with further plasma exchange.

Although Hodgkin’s disease is an important malignancy in paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, its most common associated autoantibody is not necessarily included in commercial paraneoplastic autoantibody screens, potentially leading to delay in diagnosis.  Our patient’s dramatic improvement with PLEX suggests that PLEX should be considered early in treatment, or where there is poor response to other treatment modalities.

Authors/Disclosures
Paul Daniel Crane, MD (University of Colorado)
PRESENTER
Dr. Crane has nothing to disclose.
DonRaphael Pratt Wynn, MD (Univeristy of Utah) Dr. Wynn has nothing to disclose.
L Dana DeWitt, MD (Department of Neurology, CNC) Dr. DeWitt has received personal compensation in the range of $5,000-$9,999 for serving on a Speakers Bureau for Biogen.
John E. Greenlee, MD, FAAN (University of Utah) Dr. Greenlee has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as an Editor, Associate Editor, or Editorial Advisory Board Member for Medlink. Dr. Greenlee has received personal compensation in the range of $10,000-$49,999 for serving as an Expert Witness for Zeigler Cohen Roche. Dr. Greenlee has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as an Expert Witness for Sommers Schwartz PC. Dr. Greenlee has received personal compensation in the range of $10,000-$49,999 for serving as an Expert Witness for St Francis Hospital. Dr. Greenlee has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Greenlee has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.