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Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 958041, 5 pages
Case Report

“Unsteady Gait”: An Uncommon Presentation and Course of Malignant Melanoma in Terminal Ileum—A Case Report and Review of Literature

1Department of Medicine, Saint Vincent Hospital, 123 Summer Street, Worcester, MA 01608, USA
2Department of Gastroenterology, St Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Received 20 September 2013; Accepted 20 October 2013

Academic Editors: D. C. Damin, T. Hirata, H. Kawaratani, H. Kita, Y. Nakayama, and S. Tanaka

Copyright © 2013 Satya Allaparthi and Khalid A. Alkimawi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Malignant melanoma within the gastrointestinal tract is an uncommon neoplasm that is usually metastatic in origin, with primary melanomas being relatively uncommon. Embryologically melanocytes normally exist in the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and anorectum and this theory supports the primary melanoma of the gastrointestinal tract that has been confirmed for lesions occurring through several published reports. However, most patients with brain metastases from malignant melanoma are diagnosed after treatment for known extracranial metastases and have poor outcomes. Our case is unique in that we discuss an unusual case of 69-year-old female patient presented with unsteady gait as the first symptom of disease and where the presumed primary lesion later was found in the terminal ileum on colonoscopy. Treatment consisted of surgical removal of the terminal ileal lesion with chemotherapy, whole-brain radiotherapy, and cyberknife radiosurgical procedure. Patient was in remission for more than 14 months and later succumbed to disease. Despite the advances in therapeutic options, prognosis for patients with melanoma brain metastases remains poor with a median survival time of six months after diagnosis.