Container Icon

Anachroid Cyst

What are Arachnoid Cysts?

Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid-filled sacs that are located between the brain or spinal cord and the arachnoid membrane, one of the three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Primary arachnoid cysts are present at birth and are the result of developmental abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord that arise during the early weeks of gestation. Secondary arachnoid cysts are not as common as primary cysts and develop as a result of head injury, meningitis, or tumors, or as a complication of brain surgery. The majority of arachnoid cysts form outside the temporal lobe of the brain in an area of the skull known as the middle crania fossa. Arachnoid cysts involving the spinal cord are rarer. The location and size of the cyst determine the symptoms and when those symptoms begin. Most individuals with arachnoid cysts develop symptoms before the age of 20, and especially during the first year of life, but some people with arachnoid cysts never have symptoms. Males are four times more likely to have arachnoid cysts than females.

Typical symptoms of an arachnoid cyst around the brain include headache, nausea and vomiting, seizures, hearing and visual disturbances, vertigo, and difficulties with balance and walking. Arachnoid cysts around the spinal cord compress the spinal cord or nerve roots and cause symptoms such as progressive back and leg pain and tingling or numbness in the legs or arms. Diagnosis usually involves a brain scan using diffusion-weighted MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) which helps distinguish fluid-filled arachnoid cysts from other types of cysts.

It's an ongoing battle. I get several new letters a week from people always telling me their doctors say "it's all in your head." Perhaps you receive a phone call from you physician dismissing your cyst as nothing.

"They" tell you there is nothing wrong with you but you are tired, your back hurts, your neck is stiff and your body aches and you have moods swings that would put Linda Blair to shame.

Don't kid yourself. You really have something in your brain that is causing you to have inexplicable problems. You need a team of specialists that will help treat your problems and not dismiss them as your imagination. They will often tell you to see a psychiatrist that there is nothing wrong but that's because they are ignorant and don't understand what it's like to live with a rare neurological disorder with no known cure, very little treatment and not enough information.

What are the Symptoms?

Developmental cysts of the brain, or arachnoid cysts, cause symptoms based upon the location and size of the cyst. Weakness, decreased cognitive performance, spontaneous hemorrhage, and seizures, are common presentations for individuals with intracranial arachnoid cysts. Most common locations include the temporal fossa, the posterior fossa, and the suprasellar region. Treatment has typically involved either the placement of a permanent drainage system (cystoperitoneal shunt) or an open surgical procedure to fenestrate the walls of the cyst. Cyst fenestration is typically favored due to the high success rate of this procedure. However, shunt placement is appealing due to the simplicity of the operation. Endoscopic cyst fenestration is a technique that couples the minimally invasive benefits of shunting with the advantage of open fenestration by avoiding shunt implantation.

What are the Treatments?

Arachnoid cyst that do not cause significant mass effect or symptom regardless of their size and location do not require treatment. If there is severe mass effect on surrounding structures or if there are symptoms then surgical treatment is recommended. Treatment for arachnoid cysts is symptomatic. When symptoms warrant, the surgical placement of a shunt may be required to decompress (remove pressure from) the cyst.

Untreated, arachnoid cysts may cause permanent severe neurological damage due to the progressive expansion of the cyst(s)or hemorrhage (bleeding). With treatment most individuals with arachnoid cysts do well.


  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Qica@Noli said...


natni said...



Afida Anuar said...

erk..nk kene cek sebijik dua perkataan lam kamus..eheh

mylife said...

xpaham? bt2 paham je la ek..hehe ;)

just sharing some knowledge :)

natni said...

yus kne tag dgn org

hahahaha buat jgn xbuat

mylife said...

alamak..kena tag?erm..nnt yus bt ek