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Turk Neurosurg. 2013;23(2):138-43. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.5592-11.1.

Surgical management of intracranial arachnoid cysts: clinical and radiological outcome.

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  • 1Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Shreveport, LA, USA.



Intracranial arachnoid cysts account for 1% of all intracranial mass lesions and may require drainage if symptomatic.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 45 consecutive patients who underwent surgical drainage for symptomatic intracranial cysts at our institution from January 2000 to January 2010. The average age of our patients was 36.2 years; 26 were female and 19 were males. The most common symptoms included headaches (73.3%) and dizziness (35.6%).


Cyst wall fenestration was carried out in 29 (64.4%), Cystoperitoneal shunting in 6 (13.3%) and endoscopic fenestration and stealth guided craniotomy in 5 patients each (11.1%). Seven patients had perioperative complications, and on discharge 79.1% of all patients had partial or complete clinical relief and 85.7% showed radiological decompression. A maximum cyst dimension of more than 5.0 cm was significantly associated with worse outcome at discharge (p=0.02). There was no association between post-operative size cyst decompression and resolution of clinical symptoms. The clinical and radiological outcomes were comparable between different surgical methods.


There was no difference in the outcomes between different modalities. The extent of post-operative radiological reduction had no correlation with clinical outcomes, and should be assessed in relation to the patient's clinical status.

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