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.
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