Paraneoplastic edematous dermatomyositis: A rare syndrome observed in a case of small cell lung cancer

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Kevin Zarrabi *
Terence Choy
Keith Sweeney
Ved Desai
Roger Keresztes
(*) Corresponding Author:
Kevin Zarrabi |


Dermatomyositis with subcutaneous edema is a rare process with few reported cases. We report a 63-year-old with lung cancer who presented with an erythematous skin rash and was found to have biopsyproven dermatomyositis. Her course was complicated by generalized edema, myalgias, muscle weakness, dysphagia, and laryngeal edema. The edema was severe and caused respiratory distress requiring intubation. The patient underwent therapy with high-dose glucocorticoids and intravenous immunoglobulin but failed treatment. Altogether, she presented as an extreme case and rare variant of dermatomyositis, known as edematous dermatomyositis. Diagnostic and treatment guidelines do not account for this variant and literature pertaining to edematous dermatomyositis is sparse. Moreover, this disease was a paraneoplastic manifestation of her small cell lung cancer, which is rarely observed. There are no cases reporting edematous dermatomyositis as a paraneoplastic manifestation of small cell lung cancer, and we highlight the high rate of morbidity and mortality in such patients.

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