Intracranial arachnoid cysts in an infant: A technical note on the innovative use of navigation and flexible endoscopy for cyst fenestration

Annelise Claire Sprau, Heather J. McCrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Intracranial arachnoid cysts (ACs) are a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) collection within the meninges. They typically arise during embryologic development. Some are stable overtime with little consequence, but large or growing cysts may require surgical intervention. The optimal surgical technique is debated and may be more technically challenging in the infant age group. Case Description: Our unique case report details a 10-month-old (6 months corrected age) infant who presented with a drastic increase in head circumference and was found to have midline shift and three cysts – one large and two smaller ones. He was treated with an innovative surgical approach combining stereotactic introduction of a catheter to facilitate subsequent flexible endoscopy allowing three separate cysts to be treated through one small surgical incision with no complications and a stable examination on 2-year follow-up. Conclusion: Symptomatic ACs in the infant population that require treatment can be addressed with open surgery to fenestrate the cyst, endoscopic cyst fenestration, or cystoperitoneal shunting. Typically, surgeons must choose between a rigid endoscope which allows stereotactic navigation or a flexible endoscope which allows multiple trajectories but precludes navigation. Our case demonstrates that combining stereotactic ventricular placement before flexible endoscopy provides the benefit of both approaches and allows for successful endoscopic treatment in a young patient with durable results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021


  • Endoscopy
  • Infant
  • Intracranial arachnoid cysts
  • Minimally invasive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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