Arachnoid cysts are benign, fluid-filled sacs in the brain or spine. The three most common surgical treatments for arachnoid cysts in the brain are craniotomy fenestration, endoscopic cyst fenestration or shunt placement. The nonsurgical treatment is close observation of the cyst.
Usually, arachnoid cysts develop between the surface of the brain and the skull base, or on the arachnoid membrane, one of the three membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. Less often, they arise in the spine.
For information on spinal arachnoid cysts, please click here.
Arachnoid cysts are the most common type of intracranial cyst and are typically found in the temporal fossa, the posterior fossa and the suprasellar region.
Untreated arachnoid cysts may cause permanent, severe neurological damage due to expansion of the cyst, hydrocephalus or hemorrhage. With treatment, most individuals with arachnoid cysts have a good prognosis.
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