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A complicated case of metastatic thymoma
  1. Harriet Mather
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harriet Mather, Department of Palliative Care, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Mount Vernon Hospital, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 2RN, UK; harriet.mather{at}nhs.net

Abstract

This report describes the case of a 49-year-old man who presented to the hospice with severe neuropathic pain, cramps, muscle twitching, generalised sweating, insomnia and anxiety in the context of metastatic thymoma. The symptoms were exquisitely corticosteroid sensitive raising the possibility of an immunogenic aetiology. Morvan's syndrome, a paraneoplastic, immune-mediated syndrome characterised by peripheral nerve hyperexcitability, dysautonomia and central nervous system dysfunction was thus considered. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography were negative as were initial serological assays. Subsequent assays for antibodies to leucine-rich, glioma inactivated one protein and contactin-associated protein-2, recently discovered to be associated with Morvan's syndrome, confirmed the diagnosis. By the time the diagnosis of Morvan's syndrome was reached the patient was too unwell to receive disease-modifying treatments. An awareness of Morvan's syndrome in Palliative and Supportive care is essential to improve the outcome of patients with this devastating syndrome.

  • Paraneoplastic disorders
  • Clinical decisions
  • Hospice care
  • Neurological conditions
  • Symptoms and symptom management
  • Received 15 June 2014.
  • Revision received 2 October 2014.
  • Accepted 27 October 2014.

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