Breast to Brain: A Case Report and Literature Review of Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis

Henrik Ghantarchyan, Suyee Win, Essam K. Nagori, Sarkis Arabian


Breast cancer is widely known as the most common cancer in women in the United States. If left untreated, it can have detrimental effects. If the breast cancer is aggressive in nature, it can metastasize to the lymph nodes, bones, liver, lungs, and brain. A rare location of metastasis is the leptomeninges, specifically the pia and arachnoid matter. This term is coined as leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. Its diagnosis can be challenging to make as patients can present with non-specific symptoms. We present the case of an elderly female with a prior history of breast cancer that was treated with 12 cycles of chemotherapy with paclitaxel, radiation to her left axilla, and daily anastrozole for 3 years who came into the emergency department for worsening confusion, urinary incontinence, and difficulty ambulating. Cerebral spinal fluid obtained from a lumbar puncture supported a diagnosis of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.

J Med Cases. 2023;14(1):13-18


Breast cancer; Metastasis; Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis

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