Neoplastic meningitis.Review of a clinical series.

Research paper by A A Jiménez Mateos, F F Cabrera Naranjo, A A González Hernández, O O Fabre Pi, S S Díaz Nicolás, J C JC López Fernández

Indexed on: 18 Dec '10Published on: 18 Dec '10Published in: Neurología


The increase in the ageing population in the last decades has led to an increased frequency of cancer-associated complications. Among these, neurological disorders stand out, as they appear in 10-30% of patients with systemic neoplasia. Neoplastic meningitis accounts for 4-15% of patients with solid tumours and it has a poor prognosis. The objective of this paper is to describe the clinical, imaging and prognostic characteristics as well as cerebrospinal fluid findings in a series of neoplastic meningitis.We performed a retrospective review of all patients admitted to the Hospital Universitario of Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín with clinical suspicion of neoplastic meningitis between 1990 and 2008. We selected 37 patients with an average age ranging from 15 to 75 years old. A total of 81.8% of the cases in which a primary tumour was found were associated with solid tumours (24.2% were located in the breast, and 24.2% in the lung). The most frequent sign of cranial nerve dysfunction was dyplopia, which was observed in 32.4% of the cases. The average survival rate after diagnosis was 87.9 days (12.6 weeks). The cerebrospinal fluid cytology was positive in 46.4% of the cases.Neoplastic meningitis is a severe complication of both solid and haematological tumours. We stress the importance of maintaining a high level of suspicion to achieve early diagnosis, since the average survival probability for neoplastic meningitis patients is low.