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Meningeal dissemination from an ovarian carcinoma with effective response to intrathecal chemotherapy.

Author(s): Yamakawa H, Ariga H, Enomoto A, Netsu S, Suzuki Y, Konno R

Affiliation(s): Department of Gynecology, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Omiya-ku, Saitama, Japan.

Publication date & source: 2009-10, Int J Clin Oncol., 14(5):447-51. Epub 2009 Oct 25.

Publication type: Case Reports

Meningeal dissemination is rare in the clinical course of ovarian carcinoma, and its prognosis is poor. Although it is treated by the intrathecal administration of methotrexate (MTX) and/or total brain irradiation, these treatments are usually ineffective. We report a 58-year-old woman with stage IIIc ovarian cancer who had received nine courses of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery. But her carbohydrate antigen (CA) 125 serum level had increased further (38.9 U/ml) after five courses of biweekly paclitaxel (Taxol; Bristol-Myers Squibb, Tokyo, Japan; BT) maintenance therapy. Fainting occurred, with a few seconds of unconsciousness, as did severe headaches. However, results of head computed tomography (CT), head magnetic resonance imaging, and electroencephalogram were normal. Lumbar puncture (LP) was performed. The opening pressure was 30 cmH2O or greater. Meningeal dissemination of the ovarian cancer was diagnosed, as adenocarcinoma cells were found by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology. We started chemotherapy with intrathecal injections of MTX and hydrocortisone acetate. Establishing a diagnosis of carcinomatous meningitis may be difficult. Clinical signs and biological data are not conclusive. In this patient, CSF cytology was very effective in establishing the diagnosis, and the intrathecal administration of MTX and hydrocortisone was very effective.

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