Metastatic disease to the clivus mimicking clival chordomas

Adams Deconde, Yas Sanaiha, Jeffreyd Suh, Sunita Bhuta, Marvin Bergsneider, Marileneb Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis A comprehensive review of the literature of clival metastases and presentation of two additional cases. Study Design Literature review and report of two cases. Methods A literature review of the MEDLINE database (1950 to January 19, 2013) was performed to identify all cases of patients with metastatic disease to the clivus. Additionally, two novel cases are presented. Results In total, 47 cases were identified in the literature, including the two cases presented in this study. Metastatic disease to the clivus is the initial presenting symptom of the primary malignancy in 36% (13/36) of the cases. When there was a history of malignancy, the median interval of time to clival metastases was 24 months (range 1 to 172 months). Clinical symptoms manifested often as cranial neuropathies, with at least abducens palsies as the initial presenting symptom in 61.9% (26/42) of patients. Tumor pathology was diverse, but several pathologies were seen more commonly: prostate carcinoma (18.1%, 9/47), hepatocellular carcinoma (10.6%, 5/47), and thyroid follicular carcinoma (8.5%, 4/47). Conclusion Although clival metastases are extremely rare, they are an important part of the differential of clival masses as they can be the presenting symptom of distant malignancy. Level of Evidence 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-299
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • clival chordoma
  • clival metastases
  • clival tumor
  • clivus
  • skull base

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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