Hong Kong Med J 2003;9:142-4 | Number 2, April 2003
Unusual neurological presentation of neuroblastoma
WL Yeung, CK Li, EAS Nelson, KW Chik, GM Joynt, E Yuen, CK Yeung
Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
Acute cerebellar ataxia and opsomyoclonus are presenting signs of occult neuroblastoma for a substantial proportion of paediatric patients. Cerebellar ataxia may be due to antibodies against the neuroblastoma crossreacting with cerebellar tissue. This report is of a 26-month-old boy who presented with encephalitis-like features of ataxia, seizures, decreased consciousness, and involuntary movements. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spine were normal 2 weeks after presentation. The child didnot have the classical signs of opsoclonus or myoclonus at any stage of the disease but was found to have occult neuroblastoma. The late demyelinating changes seen on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain support an immunological basis for the paraneoplastic manifestations of occult neuroblastoma in this child. Occult neuroblastoma should be considered as one of the differential diagnoses for children presenting with persisting encephalitis-like features in the presence of normal neuroimaging findings.
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