Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor with poor patient prognosis. Spinal leptomeningeal metastasis has been rarely reported, with long intervals between the initial discovery of the primary tumor in the brain and eventual spine metastasis.
Here, the authors present the case of a 51-year-old male presenting with 7 days of severe headache, nausea, and vomiting. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spine demonstrated a contrast-enhancing mass in the pineal region, along with spinal metastases to T8, T12, and L5. Initial frozen-section diagnosis led to the treatment strategy for medulloblastoma, but further molecular analysis revealed characteristics of isocitrate dehydrogenase–wild type, grade 4 GBM.
Glioblastoma has the potential to show metastatic spread at the time of diagnosis. Spinal imaging should be considered in patients with clinical suspicion of leptomeningeal spread. Furthermore, molecular analysis should be confirmed following pathological diagnosis to fine-tune treatment strategies.