How is paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration differentiated from olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA)?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Sombat Muengtaweepongsa, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration is an important entity in the differential diagnosis. Ovarian cancer is one of the malignancies associated with this syndrome, and the paraneoplastic syndrome may manifest in the early and curable stage of cancer. Anti-Purkinje cell antibodies are the diagnostic marker for this entity, and an assay for these antibodies is commercially available. If the patient is a female who has not had oophorectomy and if the degenerative disorder is sporadic rather than clearly familial, additional screening for ovarian cancer is appropriate. Small cell cancer of the lung is also associated with this syndrome.


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