Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (extensive)

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard


Breast cancer. Now leg weakness.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years

The cord demonstrates florid leptomeningeal enhancement coating its entire length from upper cervical down to the presacral cul-de-sac. The degree of leptomeningeal enhancement progressively increases as one extends inferiorly and in the lower thoracic and lumbar canal the entire CSF space demonstrates contrast enhancement. As the lower sequences have been obtained after the cervical spine, some of this enhancement likely represents gadolinium leaking into the CSF space rather than necessarily complete solid encasement of the cauda equina. This notwithstanding, there is extensive high T2 signal throughout the majority of the cord, particularly in the lower cervical region, and in the conus.

Case Discussion

The patient had had an established diagnosis of breast cancer, and malignant cells were confirmed on CSF. 

Breast biopsy

MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: Sections show multiple cores of breast parenchyma which shows an invasive adenocarcinoma which is arranged in single cords and small nests. There is associated high grade in-situ carcinoma with focal areas of central necrosis.

  • Oestrogen receptor: POSITIVE Staining intensity strong % tumour cells >90
  • Progesterone receptor: POSITIVE Staining intensity strong % tumour cells 10
  • HER-2 score 2+
  • ki67 25%
  • E cadherin is negative in in situ and invasive carcinoma which support the diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma and pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ.

DIAGNOSIS: Invasive adenocarcinoma and high grade in-situ carcinoma. 

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Case information

rID: 50667
Published: 5th May 2017
Last edited: 6th May 2017
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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