Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
A population-based study of intracranial arachnoid cysts - Clinical and radiological outcome following surgical cyst decompression in adults
  1. Christian A Helland (chhe{at}
  1. Haukeland University Hospital, Norway
    1. Knut Wester (kgwe{at}
    1. Haukeland University Hospital, Norway


      Background: We have gradually adopted a liberal attitude for surgical decompression of arachnoid cysts. This study describes the results from our institution.

      Methods: Long-term clinical and neuroimaging results of 156 adult patients (age > 16 years) operated for arachnoid cysts in our department in the period January 1987-September 2004 were assessed from the medical and neuroimaging records, in combination with a questionnaire.

      Results: The clinical and/or neuroimaging results indicated that the cyst was successfully decompressed in all the patients. 82% of the patients were asymptomatic or had insignificant complaints at follow-up. 12% reported no symptom relief, whereas 6% experienced a worsening. The cyst disappeared after surgery, or was reduced to <50% of the preoperative volume, in 66%. In another 24%, the postoperative volume was also reduced, but was larger than 50% of the original cyst volume. No reduction of the fluid volume was observed in only 10%. There was no association between volume reduction and clinical improvement. A complication occurred in 26 patients (17%), all with temporal cysts, leading to a reoperation in 11 patients (7.1%). In only two patients, the complication caused a permanent, slight disability.

      Conclusion: Decompression of arachnoid cysts yields a substantial clinical benefit with a low risk of severe complications.

      • arachnoid cysts
      • decompressive surgery
      • outcome
      • population-based study

      Statistics from

      Request Permissions

      If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.