Vol 51, No 6 (2017)

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Complete progressive ophthalmoplegia and numb chin syndrome, the first clinical manifestations of a lethal abdominal Burkitt lymphoma

Smaranda Maier1, Rodica Bălaşa1, Zoltan Bajko1, Iunius Simu2, Emoke Horvath3
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2017.08.004
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2017;51(6):510-513.


A 57-year-old patient was admitted to the Neurology Clinic for hypoesthesia, intense pain in the right chin and double vision. During the hospitalization, the patient developed progressive complete bilateral ophthalmoplegia and numbness of both sides of the chin. Brain CT and MRI scans with gadolinium were normal. Standard laboratory tests on admission were normal. The cerebral spinal fluid examination and the infectious and autoimmune workup were also normal. A thoracic-abdominal and pelvic CT scan revealed two hypodense lesions in the liver, irregular thickening of the gastric and ileal wall, and multiple abdominal adenopathies. Meanwhile, the patient developed marked fatigue, fever, sweats, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. An exploratory laparotomy was performed that showed multiple tumours of the small intestinal wall, stomach wall, multiple liver masses in both lobes and appendicular tumour. Histopathological findings of the liver biopsy and appendicular walls revealed Burkitt lymphoma. The patient died two days after surgery by cardiopulmonary arrest.

This case underscores the importance of keeping BL in the differential diagnosis of patients with rapidly progressive ophthalmoplegia and numb chin syndrome, with normal brain MRI and CSF examinations.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska