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Diagnostic value of anti-neuronal antibodies for paraneoplastic disorders of the nervous system.
  1. J W Moll,
  2. S C Henzen-Logmans,
  3. T A Splinter,
  4. M E van der Burg,
  5. C J Vecht
  1. Department of Neurology, Dr Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    Abstract

    The diagnostic value of the presence of anti-neuronal antibodies in serum was examined in 21 patients suspected of paraneoplastic disorders of the nervous system (NS) (group 1) and was compared to three control groups; group 2: 25 patients with a neurological disease, without cancer and no sign of paraneoplastic disorder; group 3: 27 patients with neurological disease and cancer and no signs of a paraneoplastic disorder; group 4: 94 patients with cancer and without neurological disease. In group 1, anti-neuronal nuclear antibodies were detected in eight patients (38%), in titres from 1:1000 to 1:32,000. A small cell lung cancer was present in six patients, ovarian cancer in one patient and in one patient no tumour could be detected. The neurological symptoms preceded a diagnosis of cancer in five out of eight patients. Anti-neuronal antibodies were found in the serum of two out of 94 patients (2%) from control group 3 but not in serum from any of the other control groups. These data indicate a moderate sensitivity of 38%, but a high specificity of 98.6% (95% confidence interval 95.5-99.8%) for the presence of anti-neuronal nuclear antibodies if a paraneoplastic NS disorder is suspected.

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