A Case of Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis Associated with Small Cell Lung Cancer
Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis (PLE) is a rare syndrome characterized by memory impairment, affective and behavioral disturbances and seizures. Among many different neoplasms known to cause PLE, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is the most frequently reported. The pathogenesis is not fully understood but is believed to be autoimmune-related. We experienced a patient with typical clinical features of PLE. A 67-year-old man presented with seizure and disorientation. Brain magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated high signal intensity in the bilateral amygdala and hippocampus in flair and T2-weighted images suggestive of limbic encephalitis. Cerebrospinal fluid tapping revealed no evidence of malignant cells or infection. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography showed a lung mass with pleural effusion and a consequent biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of PLE associated with SCLC. The patient was subsequently treated with chemotherapy and neurologic symptoms gradually improved.