Palmar Fasciitis and Polyarthritis Syndrome: A Rare Paraneoplastic Syndrome in a Patient With Prostate Carcinoma

Anouk G. de Boer, Ruth Klaasen, Marlies C. van der Goes, Haiko J. Bloemendal


A 73-year-old patient was seen in our hospital for treatment of metastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate (pT1aN0M1a R0, BRCA-2 gene mutation). Prostatectomy and regional radiotherapy were performed and goserelin, a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analog, had been started because of disease progression. Castration-resistant progressive disease developed, and enzalutamide was added. A decrease of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was achieved. Before the start of enzalutamide, the patient developed bilateral pain and stiffness of both hands combined with thickening of the hands. The symptoms progressed rapidly to bilateral flexion and extension contractures. The patient became unable to tie his shoelaces and had to use adjusted cutlery to eat. Consultation of the rheumatologist, X-rays, ultrasound and palmar skin biopsy of the hands were performed. The clinical picture resembles descriptions of palmar fasciitis and polyarthritis syndrome (PFPAS), a rare paraneoplastic syndrome. Positive effects of immunosuppressive medication have been reported in some cases. In our patient, treatment with oral prednisone (30 mg daily) showed no effect, therefore treatment was switched to methylprednisone pulses and methotrexate. PFPAS is an uncommon paraneoplastic syndrome characterized by rapid onset of bilateral arthritis of the hands, fasciitis of the palms, progressive stiffness and contractures. The scarcity of knowledge about PFPAS makes it difficult to recognize it at an early stage. As a paraneoplastic syndrome, it has been linked to various malignancies. Thus far, PFPAS has been described in only two other cases of prostate cancer.

J Med Cases. 2020;11(9):267-270


Palmar fasciitis; Polyarthritis; Paraneoplastic; Prostate cancer

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