R. Stein-Wexler, S. Wootton‐Gorges, C. Greco
Feb 19, 2005
Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis (PLE) is an unusual disorder that is characterized by the association of clinical limbic system abnormalities with neoplasia, usually malignancy. It has rarely been reported in children and then manifests during the teenage years. Diagnosis is often delayed, especially when the tumor has not been recognized. In adults, the diagnosis can be revealed by the presence of antineuronal antibodies. We describe an unusual case of behavioral disturbance leading rapidly to coma in a 14-year-old girl with CSF pleocytosis who was found 10 weeks later to have an immature ovarian teratoma. Although her symptoms eventually improved slightly after tumor excision, she died while in rehabilitation. PLE is an important diagnosis to consider in the teenage girl with symptoms of a progressive limbic disorder and CSF pleocytosis, and whose brain MR imaging demonstrates no abnormality or mild T2-weighted temporal lobe signal abnormality. When this constellation of findings presents in a teenage girl, the possibility of an underlying ovarian teratoma should be considered.