Spinal extradural arachnoid cyst

Spine J. 2009 Aug;9(8):e10-5. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2009.03.006. Epub 2009 Apr 25.


Background context: Spinal extradural arachnoid cysts are uncommon expanding lesions. Idiopathic arachnoid cysts are not associated with trauma or other inflammatory insults. If they enlarge, they usually present with progressive signs and symptoms of neural compression.

Purpose: Total removal of the cyst and repair of the dural defect is the primary treatment for large thoracolumbar spinal extradural arachnoid cysts causing neurogenic claudication. Laminoplasty may prevent spinal deformities in long segmental involvement.

Study design: A clinical case was performed.

Patient sample: We report a case of 25-year-old man with 1-year history of progressive back pain radiating to both legs. His diagnosis was dorsal intraspinal extradural cystic lesion longing from the level of T11 to L2 on magnetic resonance imaging.

Outcome measures: The patient's pain levels were noted as he reported. Physiologic outcome was assessed on pre- and postoperative motor and sensory examination.

Methods: The patient underwent a T11-L2 laminotomy and radical cyst wall resection was performed. A small communication with the subarachnoid space was seen at the level of T12. It was sealed with tissue fibrinogen after repair with primary suture. Titanium miniplates were used for laminoplasty.

Results: Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated cyst resolution, and neurologic examination revealed no sensory and motor deficit.

Conclusion: Extradural arachnoid cysts are primarily treated with total removal of the cyst wall and closure of the dural defect. Surgical treatment is curative for this rare lesion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arachnoid Cysts / pathology*
  • Arachnoid Cysts / surgery
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Humans
  • Laminectomy
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / surgery
  • Thoracic Vertebrae