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Peripheral nerve function in patients with bronchial carcinoma. Comparison with matched controls and effects of treatment.
  1. J A Lenman,
  2. A M Fleming,
  3. M A Robertson,
  4. R J Abbott,
  5. M D Clee,
  6. I F Ferguson,
  7. D S Wright

    Abstract

    Clinical examination of 80 patients with bronchial carcinoma showed minor neurological abnormalities but in only a few cases were these considered to be due to neuromyopathy. Spontaneous activity in the EMG was shown in 35%, consistent with a mild degree of partial denervation; when 50 of the patients were matched with 50 controls the patients showed a small but significant impairment of nerve conduction velocity in comparison with the controls. These findings accord with subclinical neuropathy in a high proportion of patients with bronchial carcinoma consistent with primary axonal change. Thirty patients participated in a prospective study of the effects of treatment. Of these nine were reassessed following surgery or radiotherapy. Although there was a trend towards improvement in sensory conduction there was no consistent change in the electromyographic findings.

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