Clinical, Imaging, and CSF Cytological Presentation of Leptomeningeal Metastases from Solid Non-CNS Primary Tumors

  • Emilie Le RhunEmail author
  • Michael Weller


The diagnosis of leptomeningeal metastasis (LM) is based on a clinical assessment, cerebrospinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytological analysis. The diagnosis can be challenging since LM can cause a variety of neurological symptoms and signs and since there are multiple differential diagnoses to consider as a cause of neurological problems in patients that are often in advanced stages of the disease. The EANO ESMO guideline defines the diagnosis of LM as confirmed if malignant cells are found in the CSF or by biopsy. The diagnosis is probable in the case of typical clinical symptoms and signs and typical neuroimaging findings in patients with metastatic cancer. Repeated assessments may be necessary if the diagnosis of LM remains doubtful. The diagnostic role of novel molecular liquid biopsy markers is under evaluation.


Carcinomatous Cerebrospinal Cytometry EpCAM Flow Fluid Genomic Meningitis Methylation MRI 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Hospital Lille, U-1192LilleFrance
  2. 2.Inserm, U-1192LilleFrance
  3. 3.Breast Cancer DepartmentOscar Lambret CenterLilleFrance
  4. 4.Neurology, Breast Cancer DepartmentOscar Lambret CenterLille CedexFrance
  5. 5.Department of Neurology & Brain Tumor CenterUniversity Hospital and University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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