In recent years, the diagnosis and management of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis have gained increased attention as patients with neoplasms live longer and the condition becomes more common. Conclusive hallmarks of this disease have yet to be identified. We report and discuss a case of massive invasion of the cerebral leptomeninges by neoplastic cells from a malignant melanoma in a shoulder. Symptoms of cerebral dysfunction were the first indication of neoplasm. The onset of symptoms, magnetic resonance imaging, and patient death all occurred within a brief time span. To our knowledge, this is the first case of meningeal melanomatosis in a patient not treated with chemotherapeutic drugs in which the radiologic evidence is virtually synchronous with direct anatomic observation. Thus the images provided with this report may be of use in the radiographic diagnosis of cerebrospinal metastatic colonization.
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