Rare case of pancreatic cancer with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis

In Kyung Yoo, Hong Sik Lee, Chang Duk Kim, Hoon Jai Chun, Yoon Tae Jeen, Bora Keum, Eun Sun Kim, Hyuk Soon Choi, Jae Min Lee, Seung Han Kim, Seung Joo Nam, Jong Jin Hyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis occurs very rarely in patients with pancreatic cancer. Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is characterized by multifocal seeding of the leptomeninges by malignant cells that originate from a solid tumor. To the best of our knowledge, brain metastasis from pancreatic cancer is extremely rare. Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is estimated to occur in 3% to 8% of cases of solid tumors. The clinical manifestation usually involves neurological symptoms, including dizziness, headache, vomiting, nausea, and hemiparesis, symptoms similar to those of meningitis or brain tumors. Diagnostic methods for leptomeningeal carcinomatosis include brain magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid examination. Here, we describe a case of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in which the primary tumor was later determined to be pancreatic cancer. Brain magnetic resonance imaging findings showed mild enhancement of the leptomeninges, and cerebrospinal fluid cytology was negative at first. However, after repeated spinal taps, atypical cells were observed on cerebrospinal fluid analysis and levels of tumor markers such as carbohydrate antigen 19-9 in cerebrospinal fluid were elevated. Abdominal computed tomography, performed to determine the presence of extracerebral tumors, revealed pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer was confirmed histopathologically on examination of an endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration specimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1020-1023
Number of pages4
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 21


  • Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prognosis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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