Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 257–266 | Cite as

Endoscopic surgery for intraventricular arachnoid cysts in children: clinical presentation, radiological features, management, and outcomes over a 12-year period

  • Phillip Copley
  • Matthew A. Kirkman
  • Dominic Thompson
  • Greg James
  • Kristian AquilinaEmail author
Original Paper



Less than 0.5% of arachnoid cysts are intraventricular in origin. We review our experience with endoscopic surgery for intraventricular arachnoid cysts in children.


This is a retrospective review of children with intraventricular arachnoid cysts who underwent surgery between 2005 and 2016. Clinical notes and imaging were reviewed.


Twenty-nine patients with endoscopically treated intraventricular arachnoid cysts were identified (M/F = 17:12; median age = 1.47 years, range = 7 days-13 years). All had hydrocephalus at presentation, many had symptoms/signs of raised intracranial pressure, and five (17%) were asymptomatic. Cysts were treated with fenestration into the ventricle alone (ventriculocystostomy [VC], n = 14), fenestration into the ventricle and cisternostomy (ventriculocystostomy plus cisternostomy [VC + C], n = 14), or endoscopic third ventriculostomy alone (n = 1). Six (21%) patients experienced transient and/or conservatively managed complications. Further surgery was required in 12 (41%). Revision-free survival was significantly shorter with VC compared to VC + C (log rank p = 0.049), and the majority of VC/VC + C revisions (n = 8 of 11, 73%) were required within 6 months of initial endoscopic surgery. One (3%) patient died during follow-up, from unrelated pathology. After a median follow-up of 67.5 months in survivors (range = 5.5–133.5 months), 24 (83%) cases were clinically and radiologically stable without a shunt in situ.


Endoscopic fenestration is safe and effective in most intraventricular arachnoid cysts. Additional cisternostomy at the time of cyst fenestration into the ventricle significantly improved revision-free survival in our cohort. Endoscopic surgery should be the first-line therapy when considering intervention for symptomatic intraventricular arachnoid cysts and for asymptomatic cysts increasing in size on serial imaging.


Cisternostomy Endoscopic fenestration Intraventricular arachnoid cyst Ventriculocystostomy Ventriculocystocisternostomy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Financial information

No funding was received in relation to the work described.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryGreat Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS TrustLondonUK

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