Pigmented Tumors of the Central Nervous System

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PIGMENTED tumors of the central nervous system include the pigmented meningioma, primary leptomeningeal melanoma, and secondary malignant melanoma. Although the last group is commonly recognized, the first two are not so well known. In 1940, Ray and Foot1 reported two instances of primary melanotic tumors of the meninges resembling meningiomas. One case in this category will be presented. While there has been some controversy over the existence of primary leptomeningeal melanoma, several well-documented cases have been described 2,3,4,5 and now appear in some texts.8 One instance will be described briefly, although it has already been reported in detail by Netherton.7 Secondary malignant melanoma of the central nervous system makes up the third group; this is by far the most common of the pigmented tumors and similar series have been reported by other authors.8,9,10,11,12,13 No attempt to debate the various theories of origin for the melanoma will be made, as this aspect of the problem has been extensively dealt with previously.14,15,16,17

Pigmented Meningioma

Schnitker and Ayer11 in 1938 described a case which they stated resembled an “atypical meningioma from examination of the surgical specimen alone”, but which they designated malignant melanoma. Ray and Foot1 reported a tumor of the spinal cord and a posterior fossa neoplasm, with surgical removals and 5 and 2 year survivals respectively at the time. Both tumors were said to resemble pigmented meningiomas and Foot18 later classified these two atypical growths as such. In the present case, the postoperative course and survival were characteristic of a benign. . .



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