Disseminated Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasm (NEN) with an Uncommon Localisation in the Central Nervous System. A Case Report
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 120-125
Background: Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) are rare neoplasms that originate from neuroendocrine cells and are characterized by the potential of hormonal activity. Approximately 70% of these tumours are located in the gastrointestinal system (GI), followed by the bronchi, endocrine glands-like C cells of the thyroid (medullary carcinoma), the parasympathetic and sympathetic system (paragangliomas, pheochromocytoma) and other very rare locations. The prevalence of cerebral metastases in neuroendocrine tumours is estimated by various authors to be approximately 1.5–5%. When the primary tumour is located in the pancreas, it is associated with a risk of cerebral metastases lower than 2%.
Case Report: We describe a patient with a disseminated pancreatic NEN that presented with an isolated lesion in the brain. We gathered the important data via medical history,, observation, analysis of medical records, imaging and others diagnostic tests. Despite the fairly rare prevalence of cerebral metastases in NENs, a neurological work-up should be performed. This should include neuroimaging of the brain, preferably with MR, together with the somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS), in each clinically suspicious case. A histopathological examination of the CNS tumour can confirm a dedifferentiation of NEN in the direction of a neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC – neuroednocrine carcinoma) with a poor prognosis.
Conclusions: Cerebral metastases are diagnosed in 1.5–5% of patients with a neuroendocrine neoplasm. In each case suggestive of a dissemination into the central nervous system, MRI of the brain should be performed.
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