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Transl Res. 2014 Dec;164(6):460-7. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2014.03.012. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Differences in cerebrospinal fluid inflammatory cell reaction of patients with leptomeningeal involvement by lymphoma and carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Unilabs Diagnósticos, SLU, c/Juan Esplandiú 15, Madrid 28007, Spain.
  • 2Unit of Neuro-Oncology, Departments of Oncology and Neurology, Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge-ICO Duran i Reynals, Avda. Gran Vía s/n km 2.7, Hospitalet de Llobregat 08907, Spain.
  • 3Department of Hematology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Plaza Cristo Rey 1, Madrid 28040, Spain.
  • 4Department of Oncology, Hospital del Mar, Paseo Marítimo 25-29, Barcelona 08003, Spain.
  • 5Department of Neurology, Hospital Rey Juan Carlos, c/Gladiolo s/n, Móstoles 28933, Spain.
  • 6Department of Neurology, Hospital Quirón Madrid, c/Diego de Velázquez 1, Pozuelo de Alarcón 28223, Madrid, Spain.
  • 7Department of Oncology, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Paseo de San Vicente, 58-182, Salamanca 37007, Spain.
  • 8Department of Oncology, Hospital General de Elche, Cami de L'Almassera, Elche 03203, Spain.
  • 9Department of Oncology, Hospital Virgen de la Salud, Avda. de Barber, 30, Toledo 45004, Spain.
  • 10Department of Hematology, Hospital de Guadalajara, c/Donantes de sangre s/n, Guadalajara 19002, Spain. Electronic address:


Dissemination of neoplastic cells into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and leptomeninges is a devastating complication in patients with epithelial cell neoplasia (leptomeningeal carcinomatosis [LC]) and lymphomas (lymphomatous meningitis [LyM]). Information about the surrounding inflammatory cell populations is scarce. In this study, flow cytometry immunophenotyping was used to describe the distribution of the main leukocyte populations in the CSF of 83 patients diagnosed with neoplastic meningitis (LC, n = 65; LyM, n = 18). These data were compared with those obtained in the CSF from 55 patients diagnosed with the same groups of neoplasia without meningeal involvement (solid tumors, n = 36; high-grade lymphoma, n = 19). Median (interquartile) rates of lymphocytes, monocytes, and polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells were 59.7% (range, 35-76.6%), 24% (range, 16-53%), and 1.5% (range, 0-7.6%) in LC, respectively, and 98.5% (range, 70.8-100%), 1.5% (range, 0-29.3%), and 0% in LyM, respectively (P < 0.001). No difference was observed between patients with breast adenocarcinoma (n = 30) and lung adenocarcinoma (n = 21), nor with different rates of malignant CSF involvement. Patients with lymphoma (with or without LyM) had a similar CSF leukocyte distribution, but cancer patients with LC and without LC had a distinctive PMN cell rate (P = 0.002). These data show that CSF samples from patients with LC have a greater number of inflammatory cells and a different leukocyte distribution than seen in the CSF from patients with LyM. Description of PMN cells is a distinctive parameter of patients with LC, compared with the CSF from patients with LyM and patients with cancer but without LC.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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