Phenotypic and neuropathologic heterogeneity of anti-Hu antibody-related paraneoplastic syndrome presenting with progressive dysautonomia: Report of two cases
Winkler AS., Dean A., Hu M., Gregson N., Chaudhuri KR.
The anti-Hu antibody (HuAb) is directed against RNA-associated neuronal proteins and is known to cause paraneo-plastic encephalomyelitis/sensory neuronopathy syndrome mostly when associated with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Paraneoplastic encephalomyelitis/sensory neuronopathy syndrome with concurrent autonomic neuropathy has been reported to occur in paraneoplastic syndromes, although its occurrence concomitant with acute pandysautonomia is less frequent. The authors describe the clinical, neuropathologic, and serologic features of two cases with an anti-Hu-related paraneoplastic syndrome presenting with progressive autonomic neuropathy. Both patients showed features of dysautonomia, including postural dizziness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and symptoms of sensory neuropathy. Investigations disclosed severe sensory and autonomic neuropathy and positive HuAb titers. The disease of patient 1 had a very rapid progression, and the patient died of cardiac arrest within 2 months of the onset of symptoms. The autopsy revealed SCLC. In contrast, the disease of patient 2 had a less aggressive course. An extensive tumor search disclosed SCLC only 28 months after onset of symptoms, and the patient died 1 month later of cardiorespiratory arrest. Autopsies in both cases showed inflammation involving the intermediolateral columns and the dorsal root ganglia. These two cases illustrate the association of early dysautonomia with HuAb-related paraneoplastic syndrome and the variations of clinical, neuropathologic, and serologic findings in these types of cases.