Melanocytic lesions of the central nervous system

Last revised by Frank Gaillard on 21 Aug 2021

A number of pathological entities affecting the central nervous system contain melanin. They can be divided into primary and secondary melanocytic lesions. 


Primary melanocytic lesions arise from melanin-containing neural crest cells which are located in the leptomeninges.  They include 1-3:

In addition to these primary lesions which arise from melanin-containing cells, a number of other tumors of the CNS can rarely contain melanin. These include 3:


Secondary melanocytic lesions are far more common and represent metastatic malignant melanoma

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