Incidental Intracranial Cysts in Children

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2021 Aug;68(4):775-782. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2021.04.005.


With increasing use of intracranial imaging, the diagnosis of benign intracranial cysts is becoming more frequent in the pediatric population. These lesions are usually incidentally discovered during the work-up of unrelated symptoms. Most do not require treatment and many do not even require imaging follow-up. When symptomatic, symptoms of these lesions are usually caused by local mass effect. Symptomatic lesions warrant neurosurgical evaluation, and may require surgical intervention in rare, well-selected cases. This article describes three common benign intracranial cysts found in the pediatric population: arachnoid cysts, choroid cysts, and pineal cysts.

Keywords: Benign; Cyst; Intracranial; Pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arachnoid Cysts / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arachnoid Cysts / pathology
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Risk Factors