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Images in Neurology
September 2015

Lymphomatosis Cerebri: A Diagnostic Challenge

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 2Department of Hematopathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • 3Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(9):1066-1067. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.1149

An immunocompetent woman in her mid-60s initially presented with episodes of spasms and tremors in her right hand and forearm. She was suspected of having carpal tunnel syndrome and underwent carpal tunnel release surgery. However, the tremors recurred. She was referred to a neurologist about 7 months later. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her brain revealed either a prior stroke or demyelination, and she was treated with levetiracetam. Over the subsequent 3 months, she developed progressive right-sided weakness, dysarthria, hand tremors, slurred speech, and gait instability. She was referred to our institution for a brain biopsy. T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery MRI revealed hyperintensities throughout the bilateral cerebral hemispheric white matter, corpus callosum, basal ganglia, thalami, midbrain, upper pons, and middle cerebellar peduncles (Figure, A). T1-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery MRI with contrast showed the absence of contrast enhancement (Figure, B). Given the multifocal distribution of the lesions and the lack of contrast enhancement, the main differential considerations were demyelinating disease, infection, and encephalitis.

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