Background and purpose: Choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) are incidental findings on sonograms of the neonatal head. The incidence of CPCs and their association with childhood neurodevelopmental outcome remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of neonatal CPCs and their association with early childhood neurodevelopmental outcome.
Methods: Between July 1997 and June 1998, routine brain sonographic examinations were performed on 2,111 normal newborns. All neonates in whom CPCs were detected were followed up with serial sonograms at 1, 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Developmental milestones were subsequently evaluated at follow-up, with assessments performed according to the Denver II Developmental Screening Test.
Results: CPCs were identified in 186 neonates (8.8%), 14 (7.5%) of which were bilateral. The mean (+/- standard deviation) cyst diameter was 2.6 +/- 0.8 mm (range, 1.1-8.6 mm), with five cysts of more than 5 mm. Physical examinations were otherwise normal for all 186 neonates with a CPC. Follow-up ultrasonographic studies were completed for 155 children, with cysts regressing spontaneously in 137. By 6 months of age, residual cysts were visible in only 18 children (11.6%). Developmental outcome was normal for all 179 children who completed the scheduled follow-up ranging from 30 to 42 months (mean, 35 mo).
Conclusions: CPCs were detected in 8.8% of neonates. Most of the cysts resolved spontaneously. The existence of isolated CPCs in the newborn was not associated with abnormal physical findings or with any delay in early childhood development.