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ependymal cyst

Friday 21 December 2018


Definition: Ependymal cysts within or adjacent to the brain and spinal cord most probably arise during the embryo-fetal period and may be silent for a long period to become symptomatic through their space-occupying properties at any age, including the fetal period and adulthood.

This entity presents as cysts of ependymal epithelial origin, probably arising by budding and separating from the embryonic central canal and presenting as a space-occupying process.

They have to be differentiated from neoplastic cysts, arachnoid cysts, neurocysticercosis, and enterogenous cysts by their neuroradiological and neuropathological features.

A subgroup arises as part of multisystem disorders, such as orofaciodigital syndromes and Aicardi syndrome.

The outcome of treatment of solitary cysts has vastly benefited from the application of endoscopic neurosurgery.

The improvement in neurosurgical techniques underlines the need for refined differential diagnosis, separating this group from malignant cystic tumors such as cystic gliomas.