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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