A 76-year-old smoker presented with profound weight loss due to gastrointestinal dysmotility associated with high levels of the paraneoplastic antibody ANNA-1. Serial computed tomography scans showed regressing subcarinal adenopathy, and positron emission tomography imaging showed mild fluorodeoxy-d-glucose uptake in subcarinal nodes, suggestive of benign disease. Diagnosis of small cell carcinoma was established by biopsy of mediastinal nodes. This case highlights the importance of a thorough search for malignancy in patients with high levels of circulating autoantibodies and suggests that benign-appearing imaging studies be interpreted with caution in patients with paraneoplastic autoimmune syndromes.
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