Characteristics of incidental pineal cysts on magnetic resonance imaging

Neurosurgery. 1989 Oct;25(4):636-9; discussion 640. doi: 10.1097/00006123-198910000-00020.


Three patients with different neurological complaints were studied by magnetic resonance imaging. Coincidentally, all studies showed cystic changes within the pineal bodies. These cysts appeared hypointense on T1-weighted, spin-echo pulse sequences and hyperintense on T2-weighted images. Spin-density sequences displayed them as hypointense areas, with relaxation times similar to those of the CSF, suggesting their cystic nature. The increased use of magnetic resonance imaging may result in coincidental imaging of involutional cystic pineal changes of many individuals; their characteristic appearance will allow the differentiation between them and pineal neoplastic conditions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cysts / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pineal Gland / pathology*