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Hodgkin’s lymphoma presenting as a complex paraneoplastic neurological syndrome: a case report

Nischala Ammannagari1*, Shailaja Chikoti1 and Eric Bravin2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, NY 13326, USA

2 Division of Hematology and Oncology, Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, NY, 13326, USA

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2013, 7:96  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-7-96

Published: 8 April 2013



Paraneoplastic neuropathies are rare. They are often difficult to diagnose, especially when they precede the diagnosis of cancer. Hodgkin's lymphoma is associated with multiple paraneoplastic neurological syndromes, of which demyelinating polyneuropathies are very unusual. Association with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is even more uncommon.

Case presentation

We report the rare case of a 74-year-old Caucasian man who presented with a complex neurological syndrome and was eventually diagnosed with the nodular sclerosing variant of Hodgkin's lymphoma. With timely diagnosis and early institution of treatment of the underlying malignancy, our patient began to show gradual improvement of his symptoms.


Hodgkin's lymphoma is associated with several paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. Sometimes it can be the only presenting feature of an underlying Hodgkin's lymphoma, posing a diagnostic challenge. Prompt oncologic treatment and immunotherapy can be beneficial if instituted early in the course of the disease.