Primary Malignant Melanoma in the Pineal Region

  • Park, Jae-Hyun (Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea) ;
  • Hong, Yong-Kil (Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea)
  • Received : 2014.06.19
  • Accepted : 2014.09.28
  • Published : 2014.12.28


A 59-year-old male patient had 5-month history of gait disturbance and memory impairment. His initial brain computed tomography scan showed $3.5{\times}2.8cm$ sized mass with high density in the pineal region. The tumor was hypointense on T2 weighted magnetic resonance images and hyperintense on T1 weighted magnetic resonance images with heterogenous enhancement of central portion. The tumor was totally removed via the occipital transtentorial approach. Black mass was observed in the operation field, and after surgery, histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of malignant melanoma. Whole spine magnetic resonance images and whole body 18-fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography could not demonstrate the primary site of this melanoma. Scrupulous physical examination of his skin and mucosa was done and dark pigmented lesion on his left leg was found, but additional studies including magnetic resonance images and skin biopsy showed negative finding. As a result, final diagnosis of primary pineal malignant melanoma was made. He underwent treatment with the whole brain radiotherapy and extended local boost irradiation without chemotherapy. His preoperative symptoms were disappeared, and no other specific neurological deficits were founded. His follow-up image studies showed no recurrence or distant metastasis until 26 weeks after surgery. Primary pineal malignant melanomas are extremely rare intracranial tumors, and only 17 cases have been reported since 1899. The most recent case report showed favorable outcome by subtotal tumor resection followed by whole brain and extended local irradiation without chemotherapy. Our case is another result to prove that total tumor resection with radiotherapy can be the current optimal treatment for primary malignant melanoma in the pineal region.


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