Diffuse leptomeningeal melanomatosis of the spinal cord: a case report

P. Gaetani, A. Martelli, F. Sessa, F. Zappoli, R. Rodriguez y Baena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A rare case of diffuse leptomeningeal melanosis presenting with symptoms of spinal cord compression due to the presence of anterolateral arachnoid cyst and treated with Spetzler's drainage system is reported. The diagnosis of diffuse melanosis of the leptomeninges is rarely possible during life. In the present case MRI was of great help in the definition of the limits of the pathological process and the presence of the anterior compressing cyst. After laminectomy and a biopsy of the pathological tissue which achieved the histological diagnosis, an external drainage was inserted to reduce the cyst extension and to exclude the presence of melanocytes in the cystic fluid before a peritoneal shunt was placed. At 8 th month of follow-up the patient is doing well with a dramatic reduction of symptoms and a significant reduction of spinal cord compression. The diagnostic role of MRI and the relationship between leptomeningeal melanosis and arachnoid cyst are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-211
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1993


  • arachnoid cyst
  • Leptomeningeal melanosis
  • MRI
  • peritoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Diffuse leptomeningeal melanomatosis of the spinal cord: a case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Gaetani, P., Martelli, A., Sessa, F., Zappoli, F., & Rodriguez y Baena, R. (1993). Diffuse leptomeningeal melanomatosis of the spinal cord: a case report. Acta Neurochirurgica, 121(3-4), 206-211. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01809277