Chapter

Clinical Findings, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis

Robert B. Darnell and Jerome B. Posner

in Paraneoplastic Syndromes

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199772735
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322916 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199772735.003.002

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

Clinical Findings, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis

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This chapter details a clinical approach to a patient whose neurological signs or symptoms suggest a paraneoplastic syndrome. The chapter addresses clinical findings, laboratory evaluation, usual treatments, and the prognosis that applies generally to paraneoplastic syndromes. The clinical findings of specific paraneoplastic syndromes are addressed in Chapters 4 through 10. As previously indicated in Table 1–2, almost any neurologic symptom or constellation of symptoms may be paraneoplastic. The “classical” syndromes indicated in that table strongly suggest the presence of an underlying cancer, whereas the others are less likely to be caused by cancer. Nevertheless, even the classical syndromes occur in patients without cancer, and a nonclassical disorder may sometimes indicate the presence of cancer. To aid the clinician in arriving at a diagnosis of a paraneoplastic syndrome, specific diagnostic criteria have been suggested.1 These criteria divide suspected paraneoplastic syndromes into either definite or possible categories (Table 2–1). A crucial criterion in diagnosis is that alternative causes that might explain the clinical symptoms must be excluded.

Chapter.  16847 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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