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Neurol Sci. 2009 Feb;30(1):65-7. doi: 10.1007/s10072-008-0006-6. Epub 2009 Jan 16.

Subacute onset of deafness and vertigo in a patient with leptomeningeal metastasis from ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani, 5, 35100 Padova, Italy.


Ovarian carcinoma is a common gynecological malignancy. Distant metastases usually involve the liver and lung while neurological complications are rare. We describe the case of a 63-year-old woman diagnosed from an ovarian carcinoma with peritoneal seed, which was treated surgically and with chemotherapy. After 4 years she was admitted to our Department for the development of subacute right deafness, vertigo and imbalance. MRI revealed the presence of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and an expansive formation in the right pontocerebellar angle, suggesting involvement of the right VIII cranial nerve. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluid disclosed the presence of neoplastic cells. Subsequently the patient rapidly deteriorated and eventually died. Involvement of VIII cranial nerve as the presentation of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in ovarian carcinoma is rare. In the literature at least two other cases presented with deafness, suggesting that leptomeningeal carcinomatosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis when deafness appears in a cancer patient.

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