CARCINOID TUMORS CONSTITUTE an uncommon source of metastatic lesions to the brain. We report the case of a 63-year-old man who initially sought treatment for proptosis 15 years before coming to our attention with a metastatic intracerebral left parietal carcinoid. The pathological features of the exenterated orbital mass were interpreted as undifferentiated carcinoma, and a lesion of the left lower lobe of the lung that had been removed 6 years earlier had been reported as metastatic malignant melanoma. The long duration between the initial diagnosis and the onset of neurological symptoms brought into question the original diagnosis, which, in retrospect, was most consistent with metastatic carcinoid. Staining for cytokeratin, neuron-specific enolase, and synaptophysin in the absence of staining for S-100 and HMB-45 supported the revised pathological diagnosis. Metastatic intracerebral carcinoid from an unrecognized bronchogenic source is a rare event, particularly after an orbital metastasis, but should be suspected when the clinical course is inconsistent with the more common causes of metastatic disease.
- Carcinoid tumor
- Neuron-specific enolase