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Korean J Neurotrauma. 2018 Apr;14(1):35-38. doi: 10.13004/kjnt.2018.14.1.35. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

A Rare Cause of Thoracic Spinal Cord Compression by Multiple Large Tarlov Cysts.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Nouakchott Al-Aasriya, Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Department of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire La Timone, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille, Marseille, France.


Spinal extradural arachnoid cyst (SEAC) is a rare cause of spinal cord compression. Bifocal location of thoracic and sacral SEACs is rarely reported in the literature. We report a case of thoracic spinal cord compression by SEAC associated with asymptomatic multiple sacral Tarlov cysts (TC). The surgical management and postoperative outcome of the patient are discussed. A 34-year-old woman was referred to the hospital for acute thoracic pain with a history of chronic long-standing back pain. She complained of walking difficulties. Neurological examination demonstrated incomplete spastic paraplegia with sensory level in T9. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large cystic formation from T7-11 and at the level of the sacrum. We performed laminectomies at the level of interest from T7-11. The cysts were dissected from the underlying dura after removal of the cerebrospinal fluid. We found nerve tissue in the cysts. We excised the cyst and preserved the nerve roots. Subsequently, a duraplasty was performed with autologous grafts from the lumbar fascia. The condition of the patient improved after surgery and he was recovering well at follow-up. Although the surgical treatment of TC is controversial, especially at the sacral lumbar level, decompression at the dorsal level in this case is indisputable.


Extradural arachnoid cyst; Spinal cord compression; Tarlov cyst

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