Neurocutaneous melanosis presenting as an intradural mass of the cervical canal: magnetic resonance features and the presence of melanin as a clue to diagnosis: case report

Neurosurgery. 1994 Oct;35(4):741-3. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199410000-00023.


We present a case of neurocutaneous melanosis in a 1-year-old child who presented with progressive quadriparesis created by an infiltrating extra-axial neoplastic melanin-producing tumor at the foramen magnum. This extensive intra-arachnoid mass filled the basal cisterns of the brain and surrounded the upper cervical cord. An imaging clue to the diagnosis was apparent as T1-weighted shortening on magnetic resonance in the pia and/or cortex of the cerebellar folia, suggesting the presence of melanin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae* / pathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae* / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Foramen Magnum / pathology
  • Foramen Magnum / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laminectomy
  • Melanins / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / surgery
  • Neuroectodermal Tumor, Melanotic / diagnosis*
  • Neuroectodermal Tumor, Melanotic / pathology
  • Neuroectodermal Tumor, Melanotic / surgery
  • Spinal Cord Compression / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Compression / surgery
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / surgery


  • Melanins