Carcinoma of the tongue and bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Unusual differential diagnosis

P. Volanti, M. Mannino, T. Piccoli, V. La Bella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present a 72-year-old woman with progressive dysphagia, dysarthria and tongue palsy who was initially diagnosed with bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the absence of atrophy or fasciculations in the tongue, as in other voluntary muscles, and the lack of reproducible neurophysiological evidence of denervation, prompted a revision of the diagnostic work-up, which eventually led to the discovery of a carcinoma of the tongue. This case report describes a relatively rare type of oropharyngeal carcinoma that, in its early stage, resembled a bulbar-onset ALS. This differential diagnosis is unusual, and it was fostered by the persistent lack of atrophy of the tongue and the absence of spreading of signs and symptoms of motor neuron degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalNeurological Sciences
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Bulbar-onset ALS
  • Carcinoma of the tongue
  • Electromyography
  • Tongue palsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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