Chapter 139. Leptomeningeal Metastases

  1. Robert P. Lisak MD, FAAN, FRCP Parker Webber Chair Professor Chair Neurologist-in-Chief Chief3,4,
  2. Daniel D. Truong MD, FAAN Head5,
  3. William M. Carroll MBBS, MD, FRACP, FRCP(E) Head6 and
  4. Roongroj Bhidayasiri MD, FRCP Director7,8
  1. Elizabeth R. Gerstner MD Fellow1 and
  2. Tracy T. Batchelor MD, MPH Executive Director Associate Professor1,2

Published Online: 18 MAY 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444317008.ch139

International Neurology: A Clinical Approach

International Neurology: A Clinical Approach

How to Cite

Gerstner, E. R. and Batchelor, T. T. (2009) Leptomeningeal Metastases, in International Neurology: A Clinical Approach (eds R. P. Lisak, D. D. Truong, W. M. Carroll and R. Bhidayasiri), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444317008.ch139

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA

  2. 4

    Detroit Medical Center, Harper University Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA

  3. 5

    The Parkinson and Movement Disorder Institute, Memorial Neuroscience Institute, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley, CA, USA

  4. 6

    Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Perth, Australia

  5. 7

    Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center, Chulalongkorn University Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

  6. 8

    University of California at Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA

  2. 2

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAY 2010
  2. Published Print: 11 SEP 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405157384

Online ISBN: 9781444317008



  • leptomeningeal metastases;
  • leptomeningeal metastasis (LM), spread of cancer to leptomeninges, diagnosed as patients with systemic cancer;
  • systemic cancer, reaching leptomeninges and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by hematogenous spread;
  • computed tomography (CT) scan with contrast;
  • Lumbar puncture (LP);
  • LM carrying poor prognosis with median survival - of 4–6 weeks without treatment;
  • Radiation therapy (RT) – RT, given focally to symptomatic areas or sites of bulky disease;
  • leptomeningeal metastases, challenges in cancer treatment as systemic therapies improving survival


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction and epidemiology

  • Pathogenesis

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatment

  • Conclusion

  • Further reading