Cerebral metastases - colorectal adenocarcinoma

Case contributed by Dr Yune Kwong


Dizzyness, light-headedness

Patient Data

Age: 75 years
Gender: Male

Left parieto-occipital tumor, low signal on T2. The high density on CT does not correspond to calcification or blood products on SWI.

Case Discussion

The patient went on to have both the brain lesion resected and a sigmoid mass biopsied. 

Histology (brain lesion):

MACROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: Multiple fragments of congested tan and tan friable tissue, weighing 13g in total.
MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: Highly necrotic glandular and papillary carcinoma. The necrotic debris is rich in degenerate nuclear material and appears to show progressive accumulation in gland lumens causing distension and rupture. Certain necrotic foci display a margin of cribriform glands. The tumor is accompanied by a fibrous stroma and is continuous with gliotic brain tissue.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS: Adenocarcinoma. The tumor resembles many cases of colonic carcinoma.

Histology (sigmoid tumor biopsy):

MACROSCOPIC: Four fragments of pale tan tissue from 2mm to 4mm in greatest dimension.
MICROSCOPIC: Inflammatory exudate overlies fibrosis within which are seen pseudostratified columnar epithelium-lined glands and clumps of round and polygonal cells.   The glandular and solid epithelial structures lack mucin.  This contrasts with the bulk of the material which consists of mucus-rich,  deformed crypts.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS: Colorectal adenocarcinoma.


The high signal on the plain CT (not shown) and low T2 signal was due to mucinous material.

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Case information

rID: 29578
Published: 6th Jun 2014
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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