Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 243–248 | Cite as

Asymptomatic Brain Metastases (BM) in Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC): MR-imaging is Useful at Initial Diagnosis

  • MMH Hochstenbag
  • A Twijnstra
  • JT Wilmink
  • EFM Wouters
  • GPM ten Velde


Purpose. In this study we evaluated the usefulness of MR-imaging in the detection of asymptomatic brain metastases (BM) at the initial diagnosis in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and studied the follow-up of these patients.

Patients and methods. One-hundred and twenty-five patients with SCLC were investigated with MR-imaging.

Results. In 112 patients with normal neurological findings, MR-imaging of the brain demonstrated BM in 17 patients (15%). Six of these 17 patients were therefore upgraded to extensive disease (ED). Two of these 17 patients died during chemotherapy because of progressive disease and 3 patients became neurologic symptomatic with progressive disease on MR-imaging of the brain. After completion of chemotherapy a repeated MR-imaging of the brain in the remaining 12 patients showed 1 complete remission, 4 partial remission and 7 progressive disease of the BM.

Conclusion. This study showed that at presentation an unexpectedly high percentage of SCLC patients had asymptomatic BM on MR-imaging. We propose that MR-imaging of the brain should be included in the staging of SCLC patients as well for staging, prognosis and therapy.

SCLC brain matastases neurologic asympotomatic MRI prophylactic radiotherapy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • MMH Hochstenbag
    • 1
  • A Twijnstra
    • 2
  • JT Wilmink
    • 3
  • EFM Wouters
    • 1
  • GPM ten Velde
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PulmonologyUniversity Hospital MaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity Hospital MaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital MaastrichtThe Netherlands

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