Amphiphysin autoimmunity: Paraneoplastic accompaniments

Sean J. Pittock, Claudia F. Lucchinetti, Joseph E. Parisi, Eduardo E. Benarroch, Bahram Mokri, Christina L. Stephan, Kwang Kuk Kim, Manfred W. Kilimann, Vanda A. Lennon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Amphiphysin-IgG was identified in 71 patients among 120,000 evaluated serologically for paraneoplastic autoantibodies. Clinical information was available for 63 patients. Cancer was detected in 50 (mostly limited), proven histologically in 46, and was imaged intrathoracically in 4 patients (lung, small-cell [27] and non-small cell [1]), breast [16] and melanoma [2]). Neurological accompaniments included (decreasing frequency): neuropathy, encephalopathy, myelopathy, stiff-man phenomena, and cerebellar syndrome. In a case examined neuropathologically, parenchymal T-lymphocyte infiltration (predominantly CD8+) was prominent in lower brainstem, spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglion. Coexisting paraneoplastic autoantibodies, identified in 74% of patients, predicted a common neoplasm and indicated other neuronal autoantigen targets that plausibly explained several neurological manifestations; for example, P/Q-type Ca2+-channel antibody with Lambert-Eaton syndrome (n = 5), anti-neuronal nuclear antibody type 1 with sensory neuronopathy (n = 7), K+-channel antibody with limbic encephalitis (n = 1) or neuromyotonia (n = 1), and collapsin response-mediator protein-5-IgG with optic neuritis (n = 3). Patients with isolated amphiphysin-IgG (n = 19) were more likely to be women (with breast cancer, p < 0.05) and to have myelopathy or stiff-man phenomena (p < 0.01). Overall, a minority of women (39%) and men (12%) had stiff-man phenomena. Only 10% of women (some with lung carcinoma) and 4% of men fulfilled diagnostic criteria for stiff-man syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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