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Neurochirurgie. 2011 Jul;57(3):129-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2011.07.004. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Spontaneous regression of a symptomatic atlanto-occipital joint cyst. Case report.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Pontchaillou University Hospital, 2, rue Henri-Le-Guilloux, 35033 Rennes cedex 9, France.


Synovial cysts (SCs) are well-recognized entities occurring at various spinal sites, although atlanto-occipital joint cyst is a rare occurrence. Similarly both hypoglossal nerve palsy (as an initial clinical onset) and spontaneous cervical cyst resolution are rare. In this report, the authors describe an atlanto-occipital SC revealed by hypoglossal nerve palsy in a 75-year-old woman. Due to the paucity of neurological signs and the patient's advanced age, she was managed conservatively; 8 months later the cyst resolved completely. We discuss the potential factors involved in the pathogenesis and the therapeutic options for this uncommon cervical entity. We advise conservative treatment as a first therapeutic option for SC without signs of spinal cord compression.

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