Cerebellar metastasis

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard


Elderly male patient presenting with ataxia.

Patient Data

Age: Elderly
Gender: Male

Cerebellar metastasis

MRI demonstrates a partially cystic enhancing nodule in the inferior aspect of the right cerebellar hemisphere.  No haemorrhage or flow voids is evident. On the single coronal image, there does not appear to be significant hydrocephalus. 

This patient had a known history of lung carcinoma. He went on to have a craniotomy and excision of this cerebellar mass. 

MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: The sections show features of metastatic small cell carcinoma infiltrating into the cerebellar parenchyma.  The tumour forms diffuse sheets.  Thick cuffs of tumour surround blood vessels.  The tumour cells have high N/C ratio with enlarged hyperchromatic nuclei, nuclear moulding, granular chromatin, inconspicuous nucleoli and scanty cytoplasm.  Scattered mitoses and apoptotic bodies are present. Lymphovascular invasion is not seen. The tumour cells are CAM5.2, CD56, synaptophysin and TTF-1 positive.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS: Metastatic small cell carcinoma from the lung

Case Discussion

This case illustrates how in some instances the demographics of the patient are more important that the appearance of the abnormality. In a younger adult patient the most likely differential would would be haemangioblastoma, whereas in a child pilocytic astrocytoma would be more likely. 

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Case information

rID: 10248
Case created: 25th Jul 2010
Last edited: 25th May 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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