visual hallucination and possible cerebrospinal fluid leak?

Posted By
6/27/2014 2:00am
Replies: 4

I am six years NED from stage IV. Since early winter I have had nagging sinus issues even when I do not have a cold, sinusitis or allergies. It presents as a watery, intermitant discharge from one nostril and has occurred randomly over the past six months, especially when I lean over. I was not concerned until I seemed to have experienced a visual hallucination. I have not had headaches, but was waking with dizziness about a month ago. I always feel like a hypochondriac when I think I may have a brain met...but, has anyone experienced anything similar before a brain met diagnosis? Thanks for any insight and I applaud all brave patients who have remained active on this board when I have had to take a long break in order to live my post stage IV life and deal with the survival guilt of my extended NED status. Thank you to all the caregivers, here as well.


If I get another neurological change, I won't know if it's a brain tumor or not, but my first stop would be my melanoma oncologist. If he/she was concerned, they would likely orde an MRI. If you still have a melanoma oncologist, could be worth a trip if you are worried. I doubt they would think you were being a hypochondriac.

Any change in any sensation in any part of my body brings up worry about new metastases. And the brain is so rich an organ, that a tumor could press on so many different areas of the brain, that the number of possible neurological symptoms is probably endless, including visual hallucination. 

In my case an occipital lobe tumor started showing itself with an occasional pinprick of light coming and going, but over a month or so it became big enough to be picked up on a routine PET scan. I never had a headache. Some time after that the visual patterns became quite wild until I got treated with surgery. 

Hope that helps.

2 primaries; lung/brain mets in past; paratracheal lymph node currently; participating in  Opdivo/Lirilumab trial

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I decided to start recording unusual possible symptoms. I can only see my General Practioner, but she is familiarwith my history. Best of luck to you.

Not to freak you out or anything, but it isn't unheard of to leak CSF fluid out your nose due to a leak in the cribiform plate secondary to chronic sinus issues.  Usually there is headache with it though as you leak the fluid out.  Could explain the neuro signs in lieu of the headache.

The cribiform plate is a paperthin bone at the base of your nose that protects your brain.  Your nasal nerves perforate the cribiform plate.  Any infection can erode the bone.  A patch can be put in place.

Probably not melanoma but needs follow up.  Just make sure it isn't a hole in that thin bone.  It is often misdiagnosed.

Cancer Sucks Shit Happens Nothing is ever 100% bad, there is a reason and silver lining in everything. Sometimes I need a good light and my glasses to find it though. You can't fix stupid.

I appreciate this information. Hopefully, it is not csf, but I was not aware a lingering infection could cause this issue. Thanks so much.