Defining Occult High-Risk Cysts of the Pineal Region: A Case Series.

TitleDefining Occult High-Risk Cysts of the Pineal Region: A Case Series.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsGuadix SW, Marianayagam NJ, Weidman EK, Yuan M, Liechty B, Greenfield JP, Souweidane MM
JournalOper Neurosurg (Hagerstown)
Date Published2023 Jun 01
KeywordsBrain Neoplasms, Central Nervous System Cysts, Cysts, Headache, Humans, Hydrocephalus, Retrospective Studies

BACKGROUND: Absence of hydrocephalus on neuroimaging may impart a false sense of security for patients with pineal cysts. In this case series, we characterize a subset of patients with pineal cysts having an occult presentation. Unifying features of worsening paroxysmal headaches suggesting intermittent obstructive hydrocephalus and radiographic evidence of third ventricular invagination characterize these patients as high risk.

OBJECTIVE: To define features of occult, high-risk pineal cysts and outcomes of endoscopic cyst fenestration.

METHODS: Charts were retrospectively reviewed for patients with pineal cysts evaluated at our institution between 2018 and 2021 who underwent endoscopic cyst fenestration. To capture cysts presenting as occult, patients were excluded if hydrocephalus was noted at presentation. Relevant clinical history, imaging, operative data, and clinical outcomes were reviewed.

RESULTS: Of 50 pineal cyst patients, 4 satisfied inclusion criteria. All patients presented with worsening paroxysmal headaches. In addition, 75% (3/4) also experienced intermittent syncope. Patients exhibited no hydrocephalus (n = 3) or fluctuating ventricular size on longitudinal imaging (n = 1). In all cases, high-resolution sagittal 3-dimensional T2 magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated invagination of the cyst anteriorly into the posterior third ventricle. All patients underwent endoscopic cyst fenestration with complete symptom resolution (mean follow-up of 20.6 months; range 3.5-37.4 months).

CONCLUSION: The clinical history for occult, high-risk pineal cysts is notable for worsening paroxysmal headaches and episodic alterations of consciousness suggesting intermittent obstructive hydrocephalus. Because ventricular size can appear normal on standard imaging protocols, clinical suspicion should trigger workup with high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging designed to detect these cysts. Endoscopic cyst fenestration is a safe and efficacious management strategy.

Alternate JournalOper Neurosurg (Hagerstown)
PubMed ID36716050
Related Faculty: 
Benjamin L. Liechty, M.D.

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6464
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