Spectrum of central nervous system abnormalities in neurocutaneous melanocytosis.
AIM: Neurocutaneous melanocytosis is a rare neurocutaneous syndrome defined by the presence of large and/or multiple congenital cutaneous nevi and melanocytic deposits in the central nervous system. We sought to define the spectrum of central nervous system abnormalities in children with neurocutaneous melanocytosis. METHOD: We retrospectively reviewed cases of neurocutaneous melanocytosis referred to the pediatric neuro-oncology service at our center from 2003 to 2010. RESULTS: Of 14 patients (11 males, 3 females) identified, eight were living. Median age of survivors was 31 months (range 12mo-6y 10mo) while median age of death was 81 months (19mo-28y). Of the six patients who died, all had diffuse leptomeningeal melanocytic deposits and four had leptomeningeal melanoma. All patients had neuroimaging: six had findings suggestive of diffuse leptomeningeal melanocytosis; seven had multifocal melanocytic deposits; and one patient had normal neuroimaging but focal seizures. Spinal abnormalities were common: three patients had extensive dorsal spinal arachnoid cysts and one had a benign cervical spindle cell tumor. Seven patients had epilepsy. Three patients had profound developmental delay; the other 11 patients had no or mild delay. INTERPRETATION: Children with neurocutaneous melanocytosis exhibit a wide range of intracranial and intraspinal abnormalities and variable clinical outcomes.