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|LETTERS TO EDITOR
|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 918-920
Pontine metastasis as an initial presentation of lung cancer
Waseem R Dar1, Mohmad H Mir2
1 Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, Sanjiv Bansal Cygnus Hospital, Karnal, Haryana, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Government Superspeciality Hospital, Srinagar, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
|Date of Web Publication||23-Jul-2019|
Dr. Waseem R Dar
Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, Sanjiv Bansal Cygnus Hospital, Karnal, Haryana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Dar WR, Mir MH. Pontine metastasis as an initial presentation of lung cancer. Neurol India 2019;67:918-20
A 45-year old male, chronic smoker presented to us with complaints of vertiginous sensation for the past 2 weeks. This sensation had started suddenly and was not associated with any nausea, vomiting, cervical pain, deafness or difficulty in walking. The patient had initially ignored it as cervical spondylosis but persistence of vertigo forced him to seek medical attention. His vital parameters, general physical, and systemic examinations were normal. A noncontrast CT scan of the head showed a mass lesion in the pons suggestive of metastasis [Figure 1]. Further workup for cancer was carried out. X-ray chest showed a right hilar mass lesion, which was confirmed on contrast enhanced computed tomography (CECT) chest [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. Bronchoscopic biopsy of the lung mass showed features of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). His CECT abdomen showed multiple liver and right adrenal metastases. The bone scan was normal. The patient received 10 Gy of external beam radiotherapy to the brain and was started on chemotherapy with cisplatin and etoposide. Till date, the patient has received two cycles of chemotherapy and has marked symptomatic improvement.
Small cell lung cancer comprises about 20% of all lung cancers. About 10% patients have brain metastases at the time of establishment of diagnosis., Most of the brain metastasis arise usually at the junction of gray and white matter of the brain and the most common symptoms include headache, focal weakness, mental disturbances, gait ataxia, seizures, speech difficulty, visual disturbances, sensory disturbances, and limb ataxia. Brain stem metastasis occurs very rarely in lung cancer, pons being the most frequent site in such cases. Vara-Castrodeza et al., reported a male patient who presented with progressive dysphagia 15 months after the diagnosis of small cell lung carcinoma. Cerebral MRI revealed a pontine lesion, probably of metastatic origin. Zachariah et al., reported a 70-year old male patient who developed progressive brain stem and cerebellar signs over a course of 7 days that progressed to death. CT and MRI had shown a pontine mass. Postmortem examination showed a pontine metastasis that had spread from his undiagnosed lung cancer.
Thus, although uncommon, pontine metastasis can be a presentation of an undiagnosed lung cancer and hence should be kept as a differential diagnosis in chronic smokers presenting with nonspecific symptoms like vertigo, which usually is attributed to cervical spondylosis.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]