lunedì 8 novembre 2010

Neuroblastoma metastases


Figure 1: Axial post gadolinium T1 weighted image showing solid enhancing parenchymal lesion in the right temporal lobe with dural and leptomeningeal disease.
Figure 2: Coronal post gadolinium image showing dural enhancement along the tentorium and leptomeningeal enhancement.
Figure 3: Axial susceptibility weighted imaging revealing the hemorrhagic nature of the lesion.

Diagnosis: Neuroblastoma metastases

Neuroblastoma metastatic to the central nervous system is extremely rare, and the reported incidence varies from 1% to 16% at recurrence. Paediatric tumors that metastasise to the brain, in order of frequency, include neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and Wilm tumor.

Risk factors for developing intracranial metastases include lumbar puncture at diagnosis, ages 2 to 3 years, bone marrow involvement, and MYCN gene amplification. Newer chemotherapeutic agents with better activity fail to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, thus facilitating a sanctuary for tumor cells within the central nervous system. As a result, the metastases evolve and become extensive before becoming clinically evident. Metastatic spread of tumor cells to central nervous system may occur either via hematogenous or cerebrospinal fluid routes and involve the neuroparenchyma, leptomeninges or dura.

Neuroparenchymal metastases from neuroblastoma have varied appearances. They may be cystic lesions with calcified mural nodules. The wall and mural nodules show intense enhancement with contrast. Metastases may also be solid and hemorrhagic and show homogeneous enhancement. Gradient or susceptibility weighted imaging would help in detecting hemorrhagic components. Leptomeningeal and dural metastatic involvement if present indicates poor prognosis.

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