When dizziness becomes sinister: oropharyngeal carcinoma presenting as a paraneoplastic neurological disorder

Li Yong, Panagiotis Asimakopoulos, Colin Mumford, Ioanna Fragkandrea Nixon

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Paraneoplastic neurological disorders are uncommon presentations of head and neck cancers. We present a case of a 68-year-old male patient who presented with dizziness, nausea and memory problems. MRI of his brain showed bilateral cerebellar leptomeningeal enhancing signal abnormality with cervical lymphadenopathy. CT imaging of his neck raised the suspicion of a tonsillar primary, which was later confirmed on biopsy. His poorly differentiated HPV positive squamous cell carcinoma was treated with chemoradiotherapy. Subsequent MRI imaging showed progressive cerebellar atrophy and his presenting symptoms persisted, but he remained disease free 6 months post-treatment for his primary malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbcr-2016-216151
Number of pages4
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Volume2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • dizziness
  • oropharyngeal carcinoma
  • paraneoplastic neurological disorder
  • head and neck cancers
  • bilateral cerebellar leptomeningeal enhancing signal abnormality
  • cervical lymphadenopathy
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • chemoradiotherapy

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