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Arachnoid Cysts

Abstract

You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.

NORD is very grateful to Hrayr K. Shahinian, MD, FACS, Director, and Yoon Ra, MSc, Clinical Research, Skull Base Institute, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Arachnoid Cysts

  • cysts, arachnoid

Disorder Subdivisions

  • intracranial arachnoid cysts
  • spinal arachnoid cysts

General Discussion

Arachnoid cysts are fluid-filled sacs that occur on the arachnoid membrane that covers the brain (intracranial) and the spinal cord (spinal). There are three membranes covering these parts of the central nervous system: the dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater. Arachnoid cysts appear on the arachnoid membrane, and they may also expand into the space between the pia mater and arachnoid membranes (subarachnoid space). The most common locations for intracranial arachnoid cysts are the middle fossa (near the temporal lobe), the suprasellar region (near the third ventricle) and the posterior fossa, which contains the cerebellum, pons, and medulla oblongata.

In many cases, arachnoid cysts do not cause symptoms (asymptomatic). In cases in which symptoms occur, headaches, seizures and abnormal accumulation of excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus) are common. The exact cause of arachnoid cysts is unknown. Arachnoid cysts are classified according to their specific location.

Organizations related to Arachnoid Cysts

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