[A 67-year-old man with progressive disturbance of gait].No To Shinkei. 2000 Jul; 52(7):643-53.NT
We report a 67-year-old man with progressive disturbance of gait. He was well until the spring of 1993 (62 years of the age), when he noted an onset of unsteady gait. He also noted that he started to have a difficulty in playing tennis, in which he became unable to hit the ball with his racket. He also noted parkinsonian features such as bradykinesia and loss of hand dexterity. He was treated with levodopa, which did not improve his symptoms. His MRI revealed marked atrophy of the cerebellum and the pons. The criss-cross high signal lesion was seen in the center of the pons. The third ventricle was dilated. The putamen was unremarkable. His subsequent course was complicated by easy to fall, difficulty in swallowing with episodes of aspiration pneumonia. He also developed nocturnal apneustic episodes. He was admitted to our hospital on November 15, 1998, when he was 67 years of the age. He had low grade fever and low blood pressure (98/70). He was anemic but not icteric. Tumors were palpated in his jaw, anterior chest, and in the left arm. He was alert but unable to convey his desire because of dyspnea and tracheostomy. His gaze was slightly restricted in the horizontal direction and markedly so in the vertical direction. Motor functions were difficult to evaluate. His clinical course was complicated by atelectasis of the right lung and pleural effusion. He developed marked edema and oliguria. He developed sudden bradycardia and expired on December 26, 1998. He was discussed in a neurological CPC and the chief discussant arrived at the conclusion that the patient had multiple system atrophy. Majority of the audience agreed with this diagnosis. Post-mortem examination revealed a lung cancer in the right lung (undifferentiated adenocarcinoma) with metastases to the liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, pericardium, pleura, skin, bone marrow, and the brain. Neuropathologic examination revealed marked atrophy of the pons and the cerebellum. The putamen showed brownish discoloration and atrophic changes. The substantia nigra showed marked neuronal loss and gliosis. Oligodendrocytic inclusion bodies (alpha-synuclein positive) were seen in the putamen, globus pallidus, substantia nigra, pontine nucleus, cerebellar white matter, internal capsule, cerebral peduncle, and the spinal cord. These findings are consistent with the pathologic diagnosis of multiple system atrophy. What was interesting to us was the presence of neurofibrillary tangles in the substantia nigra, nucleus ruber, globus pallidus, and subthalamic nucleus. Tuft-shaped astrocytes were also seen. This patient appears to be a rare example of combination of MSA and PSP.