Intradural Spinal Arachnoid Cyst: A Long-Term Postlaminectomy Complication: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

World Neurosurg. 2016 Jan:85:367.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2015.09.058. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Background: Spinal arachnoid cysts are a rare cause of spinal cord compression. Intradural arachnoid cysts are rarer than extradural arachnoid cysts. Spinal arachnoid cysts are mostly congenital in origin. Arachnoid cysts due to trauma, lumbar puncture, or surgery are rarely reported. Most arachnoid cysts are located posterior to the spinal cord in the thoracic regions. The ideal treatment is laminectomy or laminoplasty with puncture, marsupialization, or excision. But the development of a cervico-thoracic spinal intradural extramedullary arachnoid cyst anteriorly located 28 years after laminectomy is a recognizable complication of laminectomy.

Case description: We report here a case of a 45-year-old man who underwent C6-T1 laminectomy at the age of 17 years for cervical intervertebral disc prolapse (C6/7, C7/T1) and compressive myelopathy. Twenty-eight years after laminectomy, he developed spastic quadriparesis and was diagnosed with a spinal intradural extramedullary anterior arachnoid cyst at the laminectomy site with compressive myelopathy.

Conclusions: So, although laminectomy with excision is usually practiced to treat spinal arachnoid cysts, laminectomy itself is a cause of development of intradural arachnoid cysts.

Keywords: Arachnoid cyst; Extramedullary; Intradural; Postlaminectomy complication; Surgical treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arachnoid Cysts / diagnosis
  • Arachnoid Cysts / etiology*
  • Arachnoid Cysts / surgery*
  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery*
  • Laminectomy / adverse effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Quadriplegia / etiology
  • Quadriplegia / surgery
  • Spinal Cord Compression / surgery*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / surgery*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

Supplementary concepts

  • Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts