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Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;104(5 Pt 2):1174-7.

Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis: ovarian cancer presenting as an amnesic syndrome.

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Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis (PLE) is a rare neurologic manifestation of malignancy. Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis typically presents with short-term memory loss, seizures, or other limbic system abnormalities. The majority of PLE cases are associated with lung and testicular cancer.


We present the first case of PLE attributable to an epithelial ovarian cancer. The 58-year-old woman presented with rapidly progressing short-term memory loss and amnesia. The diagnosis of ovarian cancer was suspected on the basis of computed tomography scan findings. The patient showed dramatic clinical improvement within 2 weeks of debulking surgery and after the initiation of plasmapheresis and chemotherapy.


Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis is a rare complication of ovarian tumors that is potentially reversible with prompt surgical management of the primary tumor, plasmapheresis, and chemotherapy.

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