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Surg Neurol Int. 2010 Aug 10;1. pii: 41. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.68338.

Successful treatment of a symptomatic L5/S1 discal cyst by percutaneous CT-guided aspiration.

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School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 600 N Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21287.



Discal cysts are a rare cause of lumbar radiculopathy. Benefits of percutaneous computed tomography (CT)-guided aspiration of the cyst include decreased rate of infection, avoidance of general anesthesia, and quicker recovery. However, since the publication of a case of cyst recurrence after CT-guided aspiration, few have utilized this potentially valuable technique.


We present a patient with a discal cyst arising from the L5/S1 disc causing right S1 radiculopathy. He underwent percutaneous CT-guided aspiration with substantial improvement in his radicular pain with 19 months of follow-up. His improvement was measured quantitatively using the Japanese Orthopedic Association scale: 6/15 pre-procedure, 15/15 post-procedure.


Percutaneous CT-guided aspiration of discal cysts may be a valid initial treatment option for this condition. Patients who do not respond or who have a recurrence can subsequently be treated by surgical excision.


CT-guided aspiration; disc cyst; discal cyst; intervertebral disc; percutaneous spinal interventions

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