Arachnoid Cyst Treatment at Medical City Children's Hospital

Arachnoid cysts are congenital brain cysts that form from the layers surrounding the brain early in the pregnancy. They are often discovered incidentally after imaging of the head, and have an estimated incidence of 2.5% in the population. The majority of arachnoid cysts are asymptomatic and don’t need treatment. In older children most cysts don’t change in size, but in children younger than 4 years of age they are more likely to enlarge. Typically we would recommend following children less than 4 years of age with MRIs to ensure the cysts aren’t growing. Occasionally cysts can be symptomatic and this can occur at any age. In most cases, these symptoms are related to headaches and pressure symptoms. Sometimes the cysts can cause seizures, and in some cases surgery is indicated. The two main types of surgery that would be indicated would be either shunting of the cyst or fenestration of the cyst, which can be done with an open microscopic operation or with an endoscope.