What is Lptomeningeal Carcinomatosis?

What is leptomeningeal carcinomatosis?

Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is a serious complication of cancer, which can spread to the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Approximately, 5% cancer patients may get the disease. These patients are normally with terminal cancer.

Generally speaking, individuals with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis can live only 4 to 6 weeks without any treatments. If treated, patients are likely to survive as long as 2 to 3 months.


Basically, the signs and symptoms of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis are related with brain pressure. And the main symptoms include the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea, lightheadedness and vomiting
  • Not being able to remember things
  • Sensory abnormalities
  • Incontinence
  • Difference in gait due to weakness and ataxia

Moreover, the condition may also affect the patient’s central nervous system. Depending on whether muscle weakness, dysphagia, facial weakness and facial pain are present, the symptoms are divided into three regions and each has its own symptoms.

  • Cerebrum – papilledema, gait disturbances, changes in behavior, headache, and lethargy
  • Cranial nerve – diplopia, hearing loss, impaired vision, sensory deficits, veritgo, and cranial nerve palsies
  • Spinal root – neck pain, back pian, nuchal rigidity, invasion of spinal roots, radicular pain, and paresthesia

Keywords: leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; symptoms; Q&A

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.