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Keywords:

  • foramen magnum;
  • jugular foramen;
  • recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma

SUMMARY

Permeative infiltration of the meninges appears to be a distinct form of recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The present report of eight patients with recurrent NPC illustrates meningeal infiltration following basal foramina extension. Seven of the eight patients (88%) showed jugular foramen involvement. Three patients had concomitant infiltration of the foramen magnum. There was one patient showing spread through the foramen lacerum. Only four (50%) of these patients had clinically detectable tumour in the nasopharynx, while the other half showed deep submucosal recurrence with endoscopically unremarkable findings. Permeative meningeal infiltration appears to be a distinct form of NPC recurrence. It is important to recognize this phenomenon so as to optimize the treatment options.