Spinal cord pilocytic astrocytoma with cranial meningeal metastases.J Clin Neurosci. 2001 Jul; 8(4):374-7.JC
Dissemination of tumour cells along the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pathway has been reported mostly in medulloblastomas, germ cell tumours or high grade gliomas. Juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (JPA) is usually a benign astrocytoma. However, drop metastases of indolent nature from intracranial tumours to the spinal cord are documented. All of the previously reported cases represent metastases of cerebellar or hypothalamic tumours spreading to the spinal cord. We document in this paper the first report of a spinal cord pilocytic astrocytoma spreading via the CSF to the cerebral meninges. A 9 year old girl had a JPA of C5 to C7 subtotally resected. Two and a half years later she presented with hydrocephalus with radiologically meningeal enhancement. The meninges were biopsied which showed metastatic JPA. The girl was relatively well 4 years after initial surgery with residual tumour. Spinal cord JPA can rarely metastasize to the cranial meninges. Similar to intracranial tumours which spread to the spinal cord, such metastatic lesions are indolent.