Pineal Cyst

pineal cyst

Pineal cysts are common, seen in up to 5% of MRIs and 40% of autopsy series. As they are most frequently seen in young women (F:M 3:1 – 20-30 years of age), it is suggested that hormonal changes play a part. As these women get older the cyst initially enlarges and then shrinks. In males, they tend to remain stable over time.

They are largely asymptomatic, especially when small. When larger they can present with mass effect on the tectal plate leading to compression of the superior colliculi and Parinaud Syndrome or aqueductal compression and obstructive hydrocephalus. Rarely haemorrhage in to a pineal cyst can cause rapid expansion and so called pineal apoplexy.

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1. JG Smirniotopoulos, EJ Rushing, and H Mena. Pineal region masses: differential diagnosis. RadioGraphics 1992; 12: 577.

Credit: Dr Frank Gaillard