Arachnoid Cyst-Associated Chronic Subdural Hematoma: Report of 14 Cases and a Systematic Literature Review

World Neurosurg. 2018 Jan;109:e118-e130. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.09.115. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Background: Arachnoid cyst (AC)-associated chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) differs significantly from its counterparts without AC in epidemiologic, demographic, and clinical characteristics, as well as in management and prognosis. This study was conducted to further examine the epidemiologic, demographic, and clinical characteristics; diagnosis; treatment; and prognosis of AC-associated CSDH.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of the medical records at the neurosurgical departments of 2 institutions along with a systematic PubMed search for relevant studies published in English or Chinese.

Results: A total of 182 patients (148 males; 81.3%) were evaluated, including 14 cases in our present series. The patients ranged in age from 1 to 80 years (mean age, 24.41 ± 13.69 years). Among the 175 patients with adequate prehospital history information, 119 (68%) had a history of recent head trauma or sport-related injury. AC locations included the middle fossa and sylvian fissure in 162 cases (89.0%), cerebral convexity in 17 cases (9.3%), posterior fossa in 2 cases (1.1%), and interhemispheric fissure in 1 case (0.5%). Among the 161 patients with specific data on outcomes, 159 (98.8%) had favorable recovery, 1 patient had an evident neurologic deficit, and 1 patient died from cardiac arrest.

Conclusions: CSDH is a rare complication in patients with intracranial AC. Male children, juveniles, and young adults with recent head trauma or sport-related injury are most commonly inflicted. Burr hole drainage is the first-choice surgical procedure in symptomatic patients and is still effective in some recurrent cases. Fenestration or resection of the AC membrane is not a requisite in patients with previous asymptomatic AC.

Keywords: Arachnoid cyst; Burr hole drainage; Chronic subdural hematoma; Head trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arachnoid Cysts / complications*
  • Arachnoid Cysts / diagnosis*
  • Arachnoid Cysts / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic / etiology*
  • Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult