Neurocognitive and psychological profiles in pediatric arachnoid cyst

Childs Nerv Syst. 2009 Sep;25(9):1071-6. doi: 10.1007/s00381-009-0872-0. Epub 2009 Apr 9.


Objective: This study aims to investigate whether intracranial arachnoid cysts (AC) compromise neurocognitive function and psychological profiles in pediatric patients, depending on various clinical factors.

Methods: We assessed neurocognitive functions and psychological tests in 35 AC patients and 35 healthy control subjects between October 2007 and April 2008. AC patients ranged in age from 3 to 15 (7.94 +/- 3.12) years old and control patients from 5 to 13 (8.84 +/- 2.17) years old. The location of the AC were temporal (n = 22), frontal (n = 6), suprasellar (n = 4), and posterior fossa (n = 3). Patients underwent neurocognitive and psychological assessments before surgery. To investigate which AC impair neurocognitive function and psychological profile, we assessed intelligence, memory, attention, executive function, behavioral problems, emotional distress, and parenting stress.

Results: AC caused some demonstrated impairment by both neurocognitive function and psychological assessments. Left hemisphere AC tended to have more anxiety; mood changes can be detected depending on cyst grade. An incidental finding of AC after trauma is more intelligent, well-reserved executive function. Frontal locations tended to cause more anxiety than temporal locations.

Conclusions: Our results imply that intracranial AC impairs some neurocognitive and psychological functions. An incidental finding of AC after trauma was a more intelligent, well-reserved executive function. AC in the left hemisphere, frontal location tended to cause more anxiety. The AC itself did not cause differences in neurocognitive function from the control group. However, parenting stress in the AC group was much higher than in the control group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect
  • Anxiety
  • Aptitude Tests
  • Arachnoid Cysts / etiology
  • Arachnoid Cysts / pathology
  • Arachnoid Cysts / psychology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parents
  • Personality Tests
  • Stress, Psychological