Spinal arachnoid cysts in the pediatric age group: an association with neural tube defects

Journal of Neurosurgery
C H RabbJ G Kennedy


Between 1979 and 1991, spinal arachnoid cysts were found in 11 patients aged 19 months to 18 years (mean age 5 1/2 years). Of the 11 patients, six had a myelomeningocele and one diastematomyelia. The presenting symptoms included radicular pain (one patient), progressive weakness (three), increasing scoliosis (one), worsening spasticity (three), and recurrent urinary tract infections and progressive constipation (one). Two patients showed no symptoms from the spinal arachnoid cyst. The distribution of lesions was as follows: cervicomedullary (one patient), cervical (one), cervicothoracic (two), thoracic (four), lumbar (two), and sacral (one). Four of the 11 arachnoid cysts (all intradural) were located anterior to the spinal cord, three of which were in children with a myelomeningocele. Only two of the cysts were extradural; both were found in the lumbosacral region, and one was associated with diastematomyelia. Eight patients were treated with fenestration and/or resection of the cyst wall. Three patients with anterior cysts were treated with shunts, a cyst-to-pleural space shunt in two and a cyst-to-subarachnoid space shunt in one. All of the patients either improved or exhibited an arrest in the progression of their symptoms....Continue Reading


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