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Meningeal infiltration in recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma


  • VFH Chong FRCR; Y-F Fan FRCR.

Correspondence: DrVChong Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 169608. Email:


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.