Five patients are described in whom a benign or malignant thoracolumbar tumour, producing increased level of cerebrospinal fluid protein, was associated with hydrocephalus or papilloedema or both. A review of the clinical and laboratory features in these and 40 published cases underlines the difficulty in explaining the increased intracranial pressure in such patients. Slow absorption of cerebrospinal fluid as a result of the elevated protein levels or recurrent subarachnoid bleeding may play a part. When patients are discovered to have communicating hydrocephalus or a syndrome resemlbing benign intracranial hypertension, the finding of increased cerebrospinal fluid protein or any symptoms or signs relative to the spine should suggest the possibility of an intraspinal tumour.
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