Melanocytic lesions of the central nervous system
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:
- meningeal melanomatosis (seen in neurocutaneous melanosis)
- primary malignant melanoma of the CNS
In addition to these primary lesions which arise from melanin-containing cells, a number of other tumours of the CNS can rarely contain melanin. These include 3:
- melanotic schwannoma
- melanotic medulloblastoma
- melanotic differentiation of low-grade gliomas
- craniopharyngiomas may rarely contain melanin
- melanotic differentiation of a gliosarcoma (single case report 4)
Secondary melanocytic lesions are far more common and represent metastatic malignant melanoma.
- 1. Yousem DM, Grossman RI. Neuroradiology, The Requisites. Mosby. (2010) ISBN:0323045219. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Louis DN. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Nervous System, WHO Classification of Tumours. World Health Organization. (2007) ISBN:9283224302. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Smith AB, Rushing EJ, Smirniotopoulos JG. Pigmented lesions of the central nervous system: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 29 (5): 1503-24. doi:10.1148/rg.295095109 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Dulai MS, Moes GS, Briley AL et-al. Gliosarcoma with melanocytic differentiation. Acta Neuropathol. 2008;115 (3): 357-61. doi:10.1007/s00401-007-0232-7 - Pubmed citation