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AQP4-IgG-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and temporally detected neoplasms: case report and systematic review

Published:October 04, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2022.104212

      Highlights

      • Most neoplasms were detected within 12-month interval of NMOSD onset.
      • The most common histopathologic type of neoplasms was adenocarcinoma.
      • New onset NMOSD in patients with known cancer could suggest recurrence.
      • Cancer screening in NMOSD should follow guidelines for general population.

      Abstract

      Background

      An increasing number of reports on associations between neoplasms and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) have been published over the past decade. However, types of neoplasms and temporal relationships have not been widely studied.

      Objective

      To report cases and determine the associations between neoplasms and NMOSD.

      Method

      A retrospective chart review of possible paraneoplastic NMOSD patients at a university hospital was performed. Articles related to “neoplasm” and “NMOSD” were systematically searched and reviewed. We included aquaporin-4 (AQP4)-IgG-seropositive NMOSD patients whose onset of NMOSD and cancer diagnosis or recurrence were within 24 months of one another. Temporal relationship, types of neoplasms involved, treatments, and outcomes of both NMOSD and neoplasms were determined. The subgroup analysis was based on the AQP4 expression of neoplasm histology.

      Results

      We identified 3 cases (1.3%) from a cohort of 224 AQP4-IgG-seropositive NMOSD at our hospital and retrieved 68 cases from a systematic review, totaling 71 cases of possible paraneoplastic NMOSD. The median age at onset of NMOSD was 55 (IQR 41–64) years. Eighty percent were female. The most frequently identified types of neoplasms were lung and breast, accounting for 21.1% and 18.3%, respectively. The other tumor types were ovarian tumors and hematologic malignancy, both at 12.7%. The most commonly identified tissue histology was adenocarcinoma (52.1%). We also reported the first case of melanoma in an NMOSD patient. Twenty-eight patients (39.4%) were diagnosed with cancer before the onset of NMOSD with a median duration of 9.5 (range 1-24) months. Of those, eight patients had NMOSD after surgical removal of neoplasms, and one patient had NMOSD after radiotherapy of prostate adenocarcinoma. Twenty-three patients (32.4%) had NMOSD before cancer diagnosis by a median of 3 (range 1-24) months, and the rest were diagnosed concurrently during the same admission. Three cases were diagnosed with NMOSD around the time of tumor recurrence. Tumor tissue expressed AQP4 in 82.4%.

      Conclusion

      A small proportion of AQP4-IgG-positive NMOSD is associated with malignancy. In newly diagnosed NMOSD patients without symptoms of neoplasms, screening for age- and risk-appropriate cancer should be recommended, similar to the general population. The occurrence of NMOSD in cancer patients might suggest tumor recurrence.

      Keywords

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