Leptomeningeal metastases, also known as carcinomatous meningitis, refers to the spread of malignant cells through the CSF space. These cells can originate from primary CNS tumors (e.g. drop metastases), as well as from distant tumors that have metastasized via hematogenous spread. Leptomeningeal metastases (LM) result from metastatic infiltration of the leptomeninges by malignant cells originating from an extrameningeal primary tumor site that may be extraneural (most common) or intraneural (less common).
Symptoms of LM result from cancer cells clogging the normal exits for CSF causing a fluid buildup and increased pressure in thebrain. This increased pressure can cause vague but uncomfortable symptoms including headaches (often worse in the morning), nausea, vision changes, and difficulty walking. Cancer cells can also disturb nerves exiting the brain causing numbness, weakness, or pain.
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The diagnosis of LM may be ascertained according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)…
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