An Elderly Case of Paraneoplastic anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Associated with Small-cell Lung Cancer Expressing NR1 Subunits

Yuya Kobayashi, Mitsuto Sato, Michiaki Kinoshita, Masaki Kakizawa, Kayoko Higuchi, Yamada Mitsunori, Minori Kodaira, Yoshiki Sekijima
Internal Medicine 2020 June 2
A 61-year-old Japanese man presented with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis. NR1 antibodies were detected in his cerebrospinal fluid. Chest computed tomography revealed lung tumor. The patient was diagnosed with paraneoplastic anti-NMDAR encephalitis associated with lung cancer and treated with two cycles of intravenous high-dose methylprednisolone and one cycle of intravenous immunoglobulin. However, he died one year later without improvement. An autopsy confirmed small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Immunohistochemistry revealed the expression of NR1 subunits in the tumor cells, suggesting that SCLC may trigger NR1 autoimmunity though the expression of NR1 subunits as onconeural antigens, expanding the phenotypic spectrum of paraneoplastic neurological syndrome associated with SCLC.

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