Syncope, Blindness and Deafness in Breast Cancer –  a Case Report

Authors: K. Bechyně;  I. Schenk
Authors‘ workplace: Neurologické oddělení, Nemocnice Písek a. s.
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2013; 76/109(5): 630-633
Category: Case Report


Breast cancer is frequently associated with brain metastases and is the most common solid tumor to exhibit leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. The authors describe a case of a 61-years--old woman with generalized breast cancer who suffered from postural syncopes and suddenly developed deafness and blindness. Magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid analysis confirmed leptomeningeal infiltration. This type of clinical presentation of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is considered to be very rare.

Key words:
breast neoplasms – meningeal carcinomatosis – postural syncope – blindness –deafness

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manu­script met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


1. Weil RJ, Palmieri DC, Bronder JL, Stark AM, Steeg PS. Breast cancer metastasis to the central nervous system. Am J Pathol 2005; 167(4): 913– 920.

2. Martins SJ, Azevedo CR, Chinen LT, Cruz MR, Peterlevitz MA, Gimenes DL. Meningeal carcinomatosis in solid tumors. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2011; 69(6): 973– 980.

3. Jayson GC, Howell A. Carcinomatous meningitis in solid tumors. Ann Oncol 1996; 7(8): 773– 786.

4. Groves MD. Leptomeningeal disease. Neurosurg Clin N Am 2011; 22(1): 67– 78.

5. McFadzean R, Brosnahan D, Doyle D, Going J, Hadley D, Lee W. A dia­gnostic quartet in leptomeningeal infiltration of the optic nerve sheath. J Neuroophthalmol 1994; 14(3): 175– 182.

6. Teare JP, Whitehead M, Rake MO, Coker RJ. Rapid onset of blindness due to meningeal carcinomatosis from an oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Postgrad Med J 1991; 67(792): 909– 911.

7. Altrocchi PH, Eckman PB. Meningeal carcinomatosis and blindness. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1973; 36(2): 206– 210.

8. Kirthi V, Penn H, Hamdulay S, Ranger A, Hig­gens C. Losing all sense: a case of meningeal carcinomatosis. BMJ Case Rep 2011; 2011: bcr1020103446.

9. Testoni S, Pirodda A, Pastore Trossello M, Minguzzi E,D‘Alessandro R. Meningeal carcinomatosis causing isolated bilateral symmetric progressive hearing loss. Neurol Sci 2005; 25(6): 345– 347.

10. Baba S, Matsuda H, Gotoh M, Shimada K, Yoko­yama Y, Sakanushi A. A case of meningeal carcinomatosis presenting with the primary symptoms of facial palsy and sensorineural deafness. J Nippon Med Sch 2006; 73(4): 240– 243.

11. Goyault G, Kremer S, Martin E, Riehm S, Dietemann JL, Veillon F. Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and sensorineural hearing loss: correlation of labyrinthine enhancement patterns with symptoms. J Neuroradiol 2009; 36(2): 98– 101.

12. Bruce BB, Tehrani M, Newman NJ, Biousse V. Deafness and blindness as a presentation of colorectal meningeal carcinomatosis. Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 2010; 8(8): 564– 566.

13. Benarroch EE. The arterial baroreflex: functional organization and involvement in neurologic disease. Neurology 2008; 71(21): 1733– 1738.

14. Holmes FA, Glass JP, Ewer MS, Terjanian T, Tetu B.Syncope and hypotension due to carcinoma of the breast metastatic to the carotid sinus. Am J Med 1987; 82(6): 1238– 1242.

15. Lin HW, Rho MB, Amin‑Hanjani S, Barker FG, Des­chler DG. Glossopharyngeal and limited vagal neurectomy for cancer‑related carotid sinus syncope. Skull Base 2009; 19(5): 369– 373.

16. Sozzi G, Marotta P, Piatti L. Vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia with syncope in the course of carcinomatous meningitis. Ital J Neurol Sci 1987; 8(3): 271– 275.

17. Stone CA, Kenny RA, Nolan B, Lawlor PG. Autonomic dysfunction in patients with advanced cancer; prevalence, clinical correlates and challenges in asses­sment. BMC Palliat Care 2012; 11: 3.

Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology

Article was published in

Czech and Slovak Neurology and Neurosurgery

Issue 5

2013 Issue 5

Most read in this issue
Forgotten password

Don‘t have an account?  Create new account

Forgotten password

Enter the email address that you registered with. We will send you instructions on how to set a new password.


Don‘t have an account?  Create new account