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IV. Metastatic Neoplasms

A. Incidence: adults (about half of CNS tumors in adults are metastatic); incidence varies with primary tumor

B. Origin: hematogenous spread from neoplasms in the body, especially from lung and breast tumors and malignant melanomas

C. Location: multiple sites are common, but there may be a single focus of a metastatic neoplasm; junction between cortex and underlying white matter most common, but metastases may occur anywhere in the brain.  Also, diffuse meningeal infiltration (carcinomatous meningitis) may occur  (see image at right). 


Carcinomatous meningitis - tumor cells filling space between arachnoid and pia.The purple colored area consists of tumor cells in the subarachnoid space.  The arachnoid is above the area of the image.
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