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About Colloid Cyst

A colloid cyst is a benign, fluid-filled sac that arises in the area of the brain known as the third ventricle. The common surgical treatments for colloid cyst are shunt placement, craniotomy and endoscopic craniotomy; in some cases only observation is necessary.

Filled with a proteinaceous fluid, these growths are considered cysts, not “true” brain tumors. However, they are still categorized as intraventricular tumors, and they may cause symptoms that require intervention.

Generally, when no cyst is present, cerebrospinal fluid circulates through the brain’s ventricular system, nourishing and cushioning the brain and spinal cord. Colloid cysts may interfere with the body’s ability to maintain the proper balance and circulation of this fluid.

The third ventricle resides deep in the brain, close to the middle of the head. Colloid cysts are attached most commonly either to the roof of the third ventricle or to the choroid plexus—a structure at the center of the third ventricle. Both these locations are in proximity to crucial routes for fluid and blood circulation.

Nearby, the foramina of Monro connect the roof of the third ventricle to the lateral ventricles. If a cyst obstructs the path of cerebrospinal fluid through the foramina of Monro, hydrocephalus and increased intracranial pressure may result, with potentially serious and, in rare instances, life-threatening consequences.

Colloid cysts account for 15 to 20 percent of all masses that arise in the ventricles.


patient journey

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