Object. Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts are a rare cause of spinal cord compression. Since 2000, the authors have treated patients using 2- or 3-level hemilaminectomy or laminectomy followed by partial cyst wall resection as well as endoscopic inspection and fenestration of the cyst wall. They evaluated the usefulness and reliability of endoscopic treatment for this clinical entity based on long-term follow-up results. Methods. Between 1997 and 2003, 11 patients (3 males and 8 females) with spinal intradural arachnoid cysts were treated, and the authors conducted a retrospective review of these cases. Before 2000, 5 patients were surgically treated without the use of endoscopic techniques. During that time, more than 4 levels of hemilaminectomy were performed to expose and remove cyst walls that extended longitudinally over the spinal axis. Beginning in 2000, endoscopy was used in all 6 cases. Up to 3 levels of hemilaminectomy or 2 levels of laminectomy were performed, and the cyst wall was resected through the bone window. An endoscope was inserted into the cyst cavity and moved in the cranial and caudal direction to fenestrate the cyst wall, resulting in communication of the cyst cavity with the subarachnoid space. Results. Postoperatively, the neurological symptoms of all patients improved. During long-term follow-up (mean 114.8 months), none of the patients treated with or without endoscopy experienced recurrent cyst formation. Conclusions. Endoscopic techniques allow neurosurgeons to treat spinal intradural arachnoid cysts less invasively than with standard surgical approaches. Although the number of cases reviewed in this report is small, the data suggest that the use of endoscopy can be an important option in the surgical treatment of spinal arachnoid cysts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology