Journal of Neurology

, Volume 265, Issue 5, pp 1222–1225 | Cite as

Lower brainstem melanocytoma masquerading as vestibular paroxysmia

  • Sun-Uk Lee
  • Hyo-Jung Kim
  • Jeong-Yoon Choi
  • Ji-Soo Kim
Letter to the Editors

Dear Sirs,

Melanocytoma, a benign tumor derived from the leptomeningeal melanocytes, involves the posterior cranial fossa in more than a half of the cases [ 1, 2, 3]. Melanocytoma has shown neurotologic findings mostly when involving the cerebellopontine angle (Table  1, Supplementary file). Since melanocytoma may show a malignant behavior, an early diagnosis is important [ 4]. Herein, we first describe a patient with melanocytoma involving the dorsal medulla and lower pons, which presented hemifacial spasm and recurrent attacks of paroxysmal vertigo and tinnitus mimicking vestibular paroxysmia.
Table 1

Literature review of the primary intracranial melanocytic tumors showing neurotologic findings

Author (Year)a


Location of tumor

Tumor classification

Chief complaint

Neurotologic findings

Other neurologic deficits

Clarke (1998)




Hearing difficulty


Papilledema, abducens, facial nerve palsy

Litofsky (1992)


Clivus, CPA to C5


Neck pain




Vertigo Nystagmus Vestibular paroxysmia Hemifacial spasm Melanocytoma 



This study was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (no. NRF-2016R1D1A1B04935568).

Author contributions

Dr. SU Lee analyzed and interpreted the data, and wrote the manuscript. Drs. HJK and C analyzed and interpreted the data, and revised the manuscript. Dr. JSK designed and conceptualized the study, interpreted the data, and revised the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Drs. Lee, H.J. Kim, and Choi report no disclosures. Dr. J.S. Kim serves as an associate editor of Frontiers in Neuro-otology and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Neurology, Frontiers in Neuro-ophthalmology, Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology, Journal of Vestibular Research, Journal of Neurology, and Medicine.

Ethical standard

This study followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki, and was performed according to the guidelines of Institutional Review Board of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (B-1802-448-702).

Supplementary material

415_2018_8868_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Dizziness CenterSeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnam-siSouth Korea
  3. 3.Research Administration TeamSeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamSouth Korea

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