Brain Cysts

Tumour Group:
Other Brain Tumours and Related Conditions
WHO Grade:
Prevalence/Incidence:
Typical Age Range:

Tumour Characteristics

Cysts are abnormal accumulations of fluid enclosed in a lining. They may contain blood, tissue or tumour cells. There are specific cysts that are named for their type of tissue and their content.

Arachnoid Cyst

Arachnoid cysts are congenital in origin and may occur anywhere in the brain. In children, they most commonly arise in the back of the brain and in the region of the third ventricle. They are cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-filled cysts that are lined with the arachnoid membrane (one of the three meningeal coverings). Some arachnoid cysts are self-contained, while others may be connected by a passageway with the ventricles or subarachnoid space. The entrapped fluid which may block the CSF pathways, producing hydrocephalus.

Colloid Cyst

These cysts usually occur in the third ventricle and can cause hydrocephalus. They contain embryonic tissue (tissue formed before birth). Treatment includes surgery and sometimes shunting.

Dermoid and Epidermoid Cyst

These cysts develop from congenital tissue (formed before birth). Epidermoid cysts contain keratin, cellular debris and cholesterol. Dermoid cysts contain hair and sebaceous (sweat) glands. These masses occur in central areas of the brain such as the hypothalamic region, the vermis of the cerebellum and the pineal region. The bones of the skull (not involving the brain itself) and the spine may also be involved. These cysts are treated with surgery and complete removal is usually possible.

Rathke Cleft Cyst (Rathke Pouch Cyst)

During development, the pituitary gland develops from two components. The anterior portion develops from the roof of the mouth, and the posterior portion from the brain itself.

Occasionally, non-malignant cysts develop from the fragments of tissue that initially had lined the mouth. These cysts have no solid component and are fluid-filled sacs with a very specialized lining that secretes fluid. These cysts are always in the area of the pituitary gland and can be large. Treatment is surgical removal. At times a shunting procedure may be necessary.

Teratoma

This is a congenital tumour, which is made up of elements from the three primary cell layers: Ectoderm (skin and nervous system), Mesoderm (muscle, bone and cartilage) and Endoderm (gut lining). These are the earliest cell types in development. It is most commonly a tumour of the pineal gland or lower spinal cord in the central nervous system but may be found near the base of the brain near the pituitary gland, or the base of the third ventricle. Treatment is usually surgery.

Symptoms

Common symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Information to come.

Treatment/Standard of Care

Information to come.

Prognosis

A prognosis is an estimate of the likely progress of a disease after a diagnosis, based on an average patient group. Since every person is different, please take time to talk with your health care team about how this information applies to you.

By clicking on 'expand', a statistic on the prognosis for Brain Cysts will be shown.

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