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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Arachnoid cysts

Other Names for this Disease
  • Arachnoid cysts, intracranial
  • Intracranial arachnoid cysts
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How might arachnoid cysts be treated?

Whether to treat all arachnoid cysts, as well as the method of treatment, has been a subject of controversy in the medical literature. The need for treatment depends mostly upon the location and size of the cyst, as well as whether symptoms are present. Some believe that treatment should be reserved for individuals with symptoms, while others believe that even asymptomatic cysts should be treated to avoid future complications.[1] In the past, doctors have placed shunts in the cyst in order to drain the fluid. However, now that specialized techniques and tools allow for minimally invasive surgery, more doctors are now opting to surgically remove the membranes of the cyst or open the cyst so its fluid can drain into the cerebrospinal fluid and be absorbed.[2][3]
Last updated: 7/11/2013

  1. Khan AN, Turnbull I, Al-Okaili R, MacDonald S, Mahmood K. Arachnoid Cyst. eMedicine. 2009; Accessed 2/12/2010.
  2. NINDS Arachnoid Cysts Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 2007; Accessed 2/12/2010.
  3. NINDS Arachnoid Cysts Information Page. NINDS. September 16, 2011; Accessed 7/11/2013.