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An unusual cause of a fall: an unusual presentation of lung carcinoma


An 80-year-old gentleman presented with a fall and subtle symptoms suggestive of a cerebellar lesion, on a background of hemiparesis due to a previous cerebral vascular accident. On admission it was thought that changes on a chest radiograph were consistent with a community-acquired pneumonia. A CT of the head showed a space-occupying lesion in the right cerebellum with surrounding oedema. A previous MRI of the brain performed 8 months earlier for investigation of dementia showed evidence of this lesion although it was significantly smaller and without midline shift; however, this had not been discussed on the MRI report. A subsequent CT of the thorax confirmed a thick-walled cavitating mass in the left upper lobe, with biopsy of this lesion and bronchial washings showing metaplastic and atypical cells suggestive of adenocarcinoma. This report highlights both the importance of accurate imaging reporting, even of incidental findings, and the insidious nature of lung malignancy and its broad clinical presentation.

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