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Vol. 43, No. 6, 2007
Issue release date: November 2007
Pediatr Neurosurg 2007;43:516–521

Primary Cerebral ALK-1-Positive Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in a Child

Case Report and Literature Review

Karikari I.O. · Thomas K.K. · Lagoo A. · Cummings T.J. · George T.M.
aPediatric Neurosurgery Service and bDepartment of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., cChildren’s Hospital of Austin, Austin, Tex., USA

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A 4-year-old African American male was referred to the Pediatric Neurosurgery Service for evaluation of new onset seizures and worsening mental status. An MRI of the brain revealed a pineal region mass with diffuse leptomeningeal enhancement and compression of the basilar cisterns. A biopsy of the brain revealed histologic and immunophenotypic findings characteristic of ALK-1+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). ALCL rarely occurs in the central nervous system and poses a significant diagnostic challenge often leading to a delay in the initiation of appropriate treatment. We describe a case of a rapidly deteriorating clinical course in a child with central nervous system ALCL and review the current literature on ALCL occurring in the central nervous system.

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