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Arachnoid Cyst Photo
What is an arachnoid cyst?
Arachnoid cysts are the most common type of brain cyst. They are often congenital, or present at birth (primary arachnoid cysts). Head injury or trauma can also result in a secondary arachnoid cyst. The cysts are fluid-filled sacs, not tumors.
How serious is an arachnoid cyst?
Untreated, arachnoid cysts may cause permanent severe neurological damage when progressive expansion of the cyst(s) or bleeding into the cyst injures the brain or spinal cord. Symptoms usually resolve or improve with treatment.
If left untreated, benign cysts can cause serious complications including: Infection – the cyst fills with bacteria and pus, and becomes an abscess. If the abscess bursts inside the body, there is a risk of blood poisoning (septicaemia).
What are Symptoms of an Arachnoid Cyst?
Some arachnoid cysts never present a problem, but others can cause symptoms by putting pressure on the brain. Depending on the size and location of the arachnoid cyst, symptoms can include:
Nausea and vomiting
Lethargy, including excessive fatigue or low energy
Visible lumps or protrusions from the head or spine
Hydrocephalus due to obstruction of normal cerebrospinal fluid circulation
Endocrine (hormone-related) issues, such as early onset of puberty
Involuntary head bobbing
Does Arachnoid Cyst needs Treatment?
Arachnoid cysts — even large ones — that do not cause symptoms or put pressure on the brain or spinal cord do not require treatment.