Paraneoplastic Raynaud's Phenomenon in A Breast Cancer Survivor

Section of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
Rheumatology International (Impact Factor: 1.52). 07/2009; 30(6):789-92. DOI: 10.1007/s00296-009-0985-5
Source: PubMed


A 35-year-old woman with a history of breast cancer, treated 3 years ago with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy presented with a rapid onset of severe Raynaud's phenomenon. On physical examination, she had digital ulcers and splinter hemorrhages; there were no signs of an underlying rheumatic condition. Laboratory evaluation revealed anemia, the presence of antinuclear antibody and slight depression in her serum complement C3 level. The remainder of her serologic evaluation, including extractable nuclear antigens, anti-double-stranded DNA antibody, antiphospholipid antibodies, rheumatoid factor, anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, cryoglobulins, and cold agglutins, were negative. Within weeks of her presentation, she developed acute renal failure and bilateral lower extremity edema. A computed tomography scan of her abdomen and pelvis showed bulky lymphadenopathy and hydronephrosis; a pelvic lymph node biopsy revealed metastatic breast cancer. She was initially managed with passive rewarming strategies, topical antibiotics, vasodilator and anti-platelet therapy, but had a negligible response. However, once she was started on chemotherapy for her recurrent malignancy, there was a significant improvement in her Raynaud's symptoms and resolution of her digital ulcers.

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