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. 2020 Mar 20;9(3):850.
doi: 10.3390/jcm9030850.

Cognition in Children With Arachnoid Cysts

Free PMC article

Cognition in Children With Arachnoid Cysts

Ulrika Sandvik et al. J Clin Med. .
Free PMC article


Background: This study aims to evaluate if children with temporal arachnoid cysts (AC) have cognitive symptoms and if neurosurgery improves these.

Methods: A prospective case series study including consecutive pediatric patients with temporal AC. The children underwent neuroradiology, neuroopthalmologic evaluation, and a standard electroencephalography (EEG). Additionally, a neuropsychologist performed a standardized set of evaluations, with a one-year follow-up consisting of Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children version IV (WISC-IV), FAS (for verbal fluency), Boston Naming Test (BNT, for visual naming ability) and NEPSY-II (Developmental NEuroPSYchological Assessment) for verbal memory.

Results: Fifteen children, 9 boys and 6 girls, were evaluated and 11 underwent surgery. The Full Scale IQ subscore (FSIQ) improved from M = 84.8 to M = 93.0 (p = 0.005). The preoperative Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) was in the low average range (M = 86.7), improving to a level within the average range (M = 94.7, p = 0.001). Preoperative Perceptual Speed Index (PSI) was in the below average range (M = 81.5), improving to a level within the average range (M = 92.5, p = 0.004).

Conclusion: ACs are a common finding in a pediatric neurosurgical setting. Our data suggest that some temporal AC have a negative effect on general cognitive ability and that this impairment can be improved by surgery. We suggest a standardized evaluation, including comprehensive and validated neuropsychological assessment tools, to thoroughly assess symptoms as well as the postoperative outcome.

Keywords: arachnoid cyst; cognition; neuropsychology; neurosurgery; pediatric neurosurgery.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
MRI images of left sided temporal AC (patient 1, Table 1) before (a) and after (b) fenestration. In image b, the fenestration is seen as a flow void (arrow). Image (c) displays a cyst after the opening of dura and image (d) shows the inner cyst lining above the medial cerebral artery and the cranial nerves.

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