Subacute onset of deafness and vertigo in a patient with leptomeningeal metastasis from ovarian cancer

Roberta Vitaliani, Marco Spinazzi, Anna Rosa Mistro, Renzo Manara, Bruno Tavolato, Domenico Marco Bonifati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ovarian carcinoma is a common gynecological malignancy. Distant metastases usually involve the liver and lung while neurological complications are rare. We describe the case of a 63-year-old woman diagnosed from an ovarian carcinoma with peritoneal seed, which was treated surgically and with chemotherapy. After 4 years she was admitted to our Department for the development of subacute right deafness, vertigo and imbalance. MRI revealed the presence of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and an expansive formation in the right pontocerebellar angle, suggesting involvement of the right VIII cranial nerve. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluid disclosed the presence of neoplastic cells. Subsequently the patient rapidly deteriorated and eventually died. Involvement of VIII cranial nerve as the presentation of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in ovarian carcinoma is rare. In the literature at least two other cases presented with deafness, suggesting that leptomeningeal carcinomatosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis when deafness appears in a cancer patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-67
Number of pages3
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Deafness
  • Eighth cranial nerve
  • Leptomeningeal metastasis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Vertigo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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