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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2016, Article ID 2868190, 5 pages
Case Report

Bilateral Vocal Cord Paralysis and Cervicolumbar Radiculopathy as the Presenting Paraneoplastic Manifestations of Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Case Report and Literature Review

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
3Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Received 20 May 2016; Revised 7 August 2016; Accepted 17 August 2016

Academic Editor: Tamás Karosi

Copyright © 2016 Jeffrey C. Yeung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Bilateral vocal cord paralysis (BVCP) is a potential medical emergency. The Otolaryngologist plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and management of BVCP and must consider a broad differential diagnosis. We present a rare case of BVCP secondary to anti-Hu paraneoplastic syndrome. Case Presentation. A 58-year-old female presented to an Otolaryngology clinic with a history of progressive hoarseness and dysphagia. Flexible nasolaryngoscopy demonstrated BVCP. Cross-sectional imaging of the brain and vagus nerves was negative. An antiparaneoplastic antibody panel was positive for anti-Hu antibodies. This led to an endobronchial biopsy of a paratracheal lymph node, which confirmed the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. Conclusion. Paraneoplastic neuropathy is a rare cause of BVCP and should be considered when more common pathologies are ruled out. This is the second reported case of BVCP as a presenting symptom of paraneoplastic syndrome secondary to small cell lung cancer.