E-Pearl of the Week: The 'Hot and Dry Foot' as a Sign of Cancer

May 3, 2011


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May 3, 2011

The 'Hot and Dry Foot' as a Sign of Cancer

Lumbosacral plexopathy is a serious and often disabling neurologic complication in patients with advanced cancer. It was the initial presentation of cancer in 15% of patients in a series of 85 patients with neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy.

A unilateral hot and dry foot as a patient complaint should trigger consideration of a neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy. The symptom is a manifestation of interruption of postganglionic sympathetic innervation of the foot.


  1. Jaeckle KA, Young DF, Foley KM. The natural history of lumbosacral plexopathy in cancer. Neurology 1985; 35:358-15.
  2. Dalmau J, Graus F, Marco M. 'Hot and dry foot' as initial manifestation of a neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy. Neurology 1989; 39: 871-872.

Submitted by:
Hani Kushlaf, M.B., B.Ch.
Dept of Neurology Mayo Clinic

Disclosure: Dr. Kushlaf reports no disclosures.

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