Paraneoplastic syndromes

Etiology
Article section 4 of 14.  Previous  Next

By Edward J Dropcho MD

Most neurologic paraneoplastic disorders are believed to be autoimmune diseases, although, with some exceptions, the exact immunopathogenetic mechanisms remain unclear. For most paraneoplastic disorders, it is postulated that tumor cells express "onconeural" antigens, which are identical or antigenically related to molecules whose expression is normally restricted to neurons. In rare instances, an autoimmune response initially arising against the tumor antigen(s) "spills over" to attack neurons expressing the same or related antigens, leading to clinical neurologic disease.

In This Article

Introduction
Historical note and nomenclature
Clinical manifestations
Etiology
Pathogenesis and pathophysiology
Epidemiology
Prevention
Differential diagnosis
Diagnostic workup
Prognosis and complications
Management
Anesthesia
References cited
Contributors