Acquired spinal subarachnoid cysts: Evaluation with MR, CT myelography, and intraoperative sonography

E. Sklar, R. M. Quencer, B. A. Green, B. M. Montalvo, M. J. Donovan Post

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17 Scopus citations


Fifteen patients with acquired spinal subarachnoid cysts (14 surgically proved, one presumed) were evaluated preoperatively with immediate and/or delayed CT myelography (seven patients), MR (11 patients), or both (three patients). CT myelography separated subarachnoid cyst from myelomalacia and/or intramedullary cysts in four cases but failed to diagnose them in three, while MR accurately diagnosed subarachnoid cyst in all 10 cases that were also surgically proved. The results of these preoperative examinations were evaluated to determine the efficacy of each study in diagnosing subarachnoid cysts, ascertaining their extent and internal architecture, and detecting associated abnormalities of the spinal cord. In addition, during surgery these cysts were studied with sonography to gain an understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in their formation and propagation and to guide the surgeon in their decompression. On the basis of our experience, MR appears to be the most efficient preoperative study in diagnosing and characterizing acquired subarachnoid cyst and associated abnormalities. Intraoperative sonography provides a reliable means of ensuring adequate decompression of these cysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1106
Number of pages50
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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