Arachnoid Cysts

Also known as: intracranial cysts, intracranial arachnoid cysts, spinal arachnoid cysts

What are arachnoid cysts?

Arachnoid cysts are fluid filled sacs or cavities that appear on the arachnoid membrane and can present in many locations on the brain and/or spinal cord. Majority of these cysts are discovered incidentally and do not merit surgical intervention but rarely may cause headaches or progressive enlargement of the head.
 

What causes arachnoid cysts?

The exact causes of arachnoid cysts are unknown. Most experts believe that a majority of arachnoid cysts are congenital disorders or developmental malformations that occur due to the splitting or tearing of the arachnoid mater during gestation. There is reason to believe that heredity may play a role in their occurrence. Most of these cases manifest during infancy, but onset may be delayed until adolescence. Some arachnoid cysts might occur due to injury or disease after birth. Arachnoid cysts may be associated to other primary disorders such as Marfan syndrome, arachnoiditis, or agenesis of the corpus callosum (also known as ACC).
 

What are the symptoms of arachnoid cysts?

Small cysts may never cause symptoms and may be found incidentally. Specific symptoms depend on the size and  location of the cyst. A short list of the signs/ symptoms include: changes in the skull shape (cranial deformation ) , headache, nausea and vomiting, seizures,  bobbing and nodding of the head, ADHD, hydrocephalus, and many many others.
 

What are arachnoid cyst care options?

Arachnoid cysts that are asymptomatic and do not affect surrounding tissues usually do not require treatment (some believe that asymptomatic children should be treated to avoid future complications); children with symptoms will require surgery which may be one of a variety of procedures. Most treated children do well. Symptomatic and supportive may be provided.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/24/2018 11:54:09 AM


Upcoming Events

2018 Pediatric Autism Symposium: Ensuring Long Term Outcomes in Children Birth to Five

This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5. Learn more.

Register Online

Weekly Support Programs

Brain Wellness: Yoga for Kids

Participants will learn to optimize neurological potential across the developing age and care continuum, to provide other treatment modalities to optimize results, to provide options for our patients and families, to provide options for our patients and families, and more! Learn more.

From the Newsdesk

Mason's Story: Nicklaus Children's Makes the Difference for Child with Traumatic Brain Injury
Seeing a baby boy intubated, hooked up to a maze of machines, and with IV pumps snaking out of his tiny arms is an incredibly heartbreaking and terrifying experience. The Nicklaus Children’s staff was not only caring and friendly, but knowledgeable and explained everything to us in detail. Meeting the neurosurgery team brought us great comfort because they were confident and calm—they won our trust immediately.
Talkin' Kids Health: Individual Education Plans
Learn about Individual Education Plans with Dr. Reshma Naidoo, Neuropsychologist and Neurorehabilitation Specialist at Nicklaus Children's Hosptial.