Overview: The study researched the outcomes of treating chorea in patients with infectious, pharmacologic, metabolic, autoimmune disorders, or paraneoplastic syndromes.
Conclusion: Treatments include antibiotics, antivirals, immunosuppression, dopamine depleting agents, chelation, and supportive care.
Chorea consists of involuntary movements affecting the limbs, trunk, neck or face, that can move from one body part to another. Chorea is conceptualized as being "primary" when it is attributed to Huntington's disease (HD) or other genetic etiologies, or "secondary" when it is related to infectious, pharmacologic, metabolic, autoimmune disorders, or paraneoplastic syndromes. The mainstay of the secondary chorea management is treating the underlying causative disorder; here we review the literature regarding secondary chorea. We also discuss the management of several non-HD genetic diseases in which chorea can be a feature, where metabolic targets may be amenable to intervention and chorea reduction. A PubMed literature search was performed for articles relating to chorea and its medical and surgical management. We reviewed the articles and cross-references of pertinent articles to assess the current clinical practice, expert opinion, and evidence-based medicine to synthesize recommendations for the management of secondary chorea. There are very few double-blind randomized controlled trials assessing chorea treatments regardless of etiology. Most recommendations are based on small open-label studies, case reports, and expert opinion. Treatment of secondary chorea is currently based on expert opinion, clinical experience, and small case studies, with limited evidence-based medical data. When chorea is secondary to an underlying infection, medication, metabolic abnormality, autoimmune process, or paraneoplastic illness, the movements typically resolve following treatment of the underlying disease. Tardive dyskinesia is most rigorously studied secondary chorea with the best evidence-based medicine treatment guidelines recommending the use of pre-synaptic dopamine-depleting agents. Even though there is an insufficient pool of EBM, small clinical trials, case reports, and expert opinion are valuable for guiding treatment and improving the quality of life for patients with chorea. There is a dearth of well-controlled studies regarding the treatment of chorea. Expert opinion and clinical experiences are fundamental in guiding chorea management and determining successful treatment. In general, secondary chorea improves with treating the underlying medical abnormality; treatments include antibiotics, antivirals, immunosuppression, dopamine depleting agents, chelation, and supportive care.