A short explanation of the different kinds of cysts found in the brain.
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There are 5 types of Brain Cysts: Colloid, Dermoid, Arachnoid, Epidermoid, andRathke’s cleft. Each one has different characteristics and requires different medical treatment.
The colloid cyst is found in the third ventricle the majority of the time. A MRI or CT scan is done to diagnosis them. They are usually benign and grow slowly, but they need to be monitored for changes in size. In some instances they can cause sudden death when they block off the foramina of Monro which is a channel located in the midline of the brain. If treatment is indicated the doctor may drain the cyst, or remove it surgically by inserting a shunt. A shunt is a used to drain the fluid from the cyst. The majority of the time the Colloid cyst does not require any medical care.
The dermoid cyst is typically develops during fetal development. They are usually benign and o the majority of the time occurs in people under 20 years old. Dermoid cysts can occur in other areas of the body. Usually they are located in the lower lumbar of the spine, but they can occur in the brain. If the cyst is located in the spinal cord it may become infected. A doctor usually goes in and removes the cyst surgically.
An Arachnoid cyst is a cyst that occurs during fetal development. They grow in the brain and the spinal cord and the majority of people do not know they are present. Usually they are found by accident when a MRI or CT scan is performed. Treatment for the cysts if needed is a shunt surgically inserted to drain fluid. Not all cysts require surgical removal.
The Epidermoid cyst occurs prior to birth and is located in the brain and spinal cord. Most of the time it occurs in the brain unlike other types of brain cysts. Usually someone does not know they have the cyst until they are 20-40 years old. The Epidermoid cyst is a rare cyst so very little is known about this kind of cyst. Usually the cyst is removed by a surgeon.
The Rathke’s cleft cyst occurs in the pituitary glad and the majority of the time they are not diagnosed until after death. At times, they are found on MRI’s and CT Scans. Because of their location they usually affect the vision and the pituitary gland. Some people will suffer from headaches because of the cysts. They are usually found in adults. The treatment at times is surgically removing the cyst.
Do not use this information in place of a doctor’s diagnosis and care. It is meant to be an overview of the different kinds of cysts.