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Severe ataxia uncovered Hodgkin’s lymphoma: do not forget CT neck when looking for covert malignancy


A 53-year-old woman without medical problems presented with 5-month history of dizziness, difficulty speaking, severe ataxia, which worsened a day before admission to inability to stand unsupported. An extensive workup was initiated to find the cause of ataxia. The laboratory investigations and imaging of the brain and whole spine revealed no lesions. She was found to have autoimmune thyroiditis, positive coeliac disease antibodies without clinical features and vitamin D deficiency. No intravenous steroids or immunosuppressive therapy was given. Cerebrospinal fluid showed lymphocytic pleocytosis. The workup for the cause of severe ataxia revealed an oropharyngeal lesion with cervical lymph nodes, and the biopsy showed classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma of mixed cellularity. She was treated with chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy and made a remarkable recovery, and currently, she is in remission without distant metastases, 5 years after the initial diagnosis. Her neurological status improved, and she remained with mild ataxia.

  • movement disorders (other than Parkinson's)
  • infection (neurology)
  • headache (including migraines)
  • neuroimaging
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)

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