Much More than Trousseau Syndrome. The Broad Spectrum of the Pancreatic Paraneoplastic Syndromes.
When 150 years ago Armand Trousseau proposed that some thrombotic events might be the first sign of concealed visceral malignancies, these findings seemed to be just of anecdotal interest. Since then, however, we have learned that adenocarcinomas, including pancreatic cancers could be associated with a wide spectrum of paraneoplastic syndromes. They may precede the detection of the tumor, may occur simultaneously or may develop during its progression. Due to various hematologic, endocrine, cutaneous, articular, neuromuscular, renal or even psychiatric syndromes, their correct interpretation is intriguing, and because their early signs are not necessarily recognized first by oncologists, the paraneoplastic syndromes pose a diagnostic challenge. Unfortunately, we cannot generalize about their mechanisms, because the molecular backgrounds are far-reaching. In most of the cases, the pancreatic cancer cells release various factors into the bloodstream triggering the coagulation cascade. These patients frequently present with venous thromboembolism, and sometimes they are resistant to anticoagulation. The simultaneous thrombotic and bleeding evens do reflect the abnormal hemostasis. In other instances autoantibodies are formed against cutaneous, renal, neuromuscular or nervous tissues, but the mechanism of some syndromes remains unclear. Clinicians should be aware that pancreatic carcinoma may be associated with not just the Trousseau-syndrome.
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