Brain and skull metastases of hepatic or pancreatic cancer--report of six cases

Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 1990 Jul;30(7):476-82. doi: 10.2176/nmc.30.476.


Brain and skull metastases from primary hepatic or pancreatic cancer are very rare. The authors describe six cases of metastatic tumors. These are skull (three cases) and brain (one) metastasis of hepatic cancer and brain metastasis (two) of pancreatic cancer. In three hepatic cancer patients, the metastatic lesions were diagnosed before the diagnosis of primary cancer. In these patients, plain skull x-ray showed osteolytic lesions and vascular enlargement. A postcontrast computed tomographic (CT) scan showed an enhanced high-density epidural mass. Angiograms showed a tumor stain fed by abnormal vessels from the external carotid artery. In one patient with a metastatic brain tumor from hepatic cancer, a CT scan showed a high-density mass with hematoma. In one of the brain metastases from pancreatic cancer, a CT scan revealed a cystic, ring-like enhanced lesion in the thalamus. In the other case, a CT scan showed an isodensity mass in the vermis and hydrocephalus. Metastatic tumors from primary hepatic cancer were soft and hemorrhagic, but they were clearly demarcated from the surrounding tissue. In the case of thalamic metastasis, the cyst content was aspirated and an anticancer agent was administered into the cystic cavity. In the other cases, the tumors were totally removed. The outcome was very poor in all cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / surgery
  • Adenoma, Bile Duct / secondary
  • Adenoma, Bile Duct / surgery
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Skull Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Skull Neoplasms / surgery