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Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction can occur as a paraneoplastic disorder, and several cases have been reported in association with thymoma or small-cell lung cancer. Autoantibodies against voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKCs) are found in acquired neuromyotonia (Isaac's syndrome), and have been reported in one case of slow transit constipation without apparent neurological disease. We describe a patient with VGKC antibodies, acquired neuromyotonia and thymoma, who first presented with a severe slow-transit constipation and in whom the gastrointestinal symptoms responded well to plasmapheresis. We suggest that VGKC antibodies might be helpful in patients with possible paraneoplastic chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, and a positive result should stimulate the search for a thymoma or other tumour and raise the possibility of immunotherapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Neurol

Publication Date





60 - 63


Autoantibodies, Chronic Disease, Constipation, Diagnosis, Differential, Female, Humans, Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction, Isaacs Syndrome, Middle Aged, Paraneoplastic Syndromes, Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated, Thymoma, Thymus Neoplasms