sabato 6 marzo 2010

Colloid cyst


Seven mm hyperdense round lesion in the third ventricle with mild ventricular enlargement for age. Bone window images showed that the lesion was not calcified. MR shows bright signal on T1 consistent with increased protein. T2 demonstrates isointense to brain signal. T1 post contrast shows some peripheral enhancement without clear enhancement of the lesion.

Differential diagnosis for third ventricular masses:
- Colloid cyst
- Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma
- Craniopharyngioma
- Ependymoma
- Meningioma
- Choroid plexus papilloma
- Vascular lesion
- Intraventricular neurocysticercosis

Diagnosis: Colloid cyst

Key points

Colloid cysts are rare brain lesions that account for approximately 1-3% of primary intracranial tumors. The typical location is in the anterior superior third ventricle. Rare cases have been reported in the lateral ventricles, fourth ventricle, and even outside the ventricular system. Diagnoses usually occurs incidentally in adult patients. Very rarely diagnosed in children. Colloid cysts originate during the development of the nervous system from ectopic endodermal elements which migrate into the velum interpositum. These lesions are lined by cuboidal or stratified columnar epithelium and contain proteinaceous components. This lining accounts for the enhancement that is sometimes seen as in this case. The proteinaceous material is derived from the breakdown products and secretions of the epithelial cells.

In many patients, colloid cysts remain clinically silent. They enlarge slowly or stop growing, allowing a balance to develop between the production and absorption of CSF. Even with this slow growth some patients experience signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus due to the obstruction of the foramina of Monro. They experience headache, memory deficits, and nausea/vomiting. The headache is often positional because the foramina of Monro may only become obstructed in certain positions as the cyst is often somewhat mobile. Cases of sudden death have been reported. Although these lesions are benign, they are often surgically managed since the complication of obstructive hydrocephalus may be life threatening.

On CT scans, most are hyperdense to the brain although they are not calcified. Occasionally, they may be hypodense or isodense. The appearance on MRI is variable as well. Most lesions have high signal intensity on T1 and low signal intensity on T2, though they may vary from high to low intensity on both T1 and T2. Thin rim enhancement occasionally is seen as in this case.

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