We discuss the assessment and differential diagnoses of a middle-aged man who presented with trismus, double vision and behavioural problems. MRI scan of the brain was initially normal, but a month later showed high signal in the hippocampal region on fluid attenuated inversion recovery sequence (FLAIR) imaging. We suspected a paraneoplastic brainstem encephalitis because of his smoking history, rapidly progressive symptoms and abnormal brainstem signs. A positron emission tomography-CT scan identified abnormal subcarinal nodes, shown on biopsy to be metastatic small cell lung cancer. He is currently undergoing treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
- paraneoplastic syndrome
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Contributors Both authors contributed equally to the writing of the manuscript.
Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. This paper was reviewed by Mike Zandi, London, UK.
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