Neuroglial cyst

Neuroglial cysts (also known as glioependymal cysts) are rare, benign epithelial-lined cystic lesions that can potentially occur anywhere in the neuraxis. On imaging they are characterised as CSF-like parenchymal cysts with smooth, rounded borders and minimal-to-no surrounding signal intensity abnormality. 

They are rare and represent <1% of intracranial cysts 1.

Neuroglial cysts are congenital lesions that develop a sequestration of neural tube embryonic elements that develop into a glial cell lined, fluid filled cavity, located within the white matter 4

They can be intra- or extra-parenchymal with the former being more common. The frontal lobe is thought to be the most typical location 1,3.

Typically seen as a well defined, non enhancing, hypodense (CSF density) unilocular cystic lesion with no surrounding oedema. They do not calcify.

Neuroglial cysts usually follow CSF signal. Hence they are hypointense on T1 and hyperintense on T2. They do not enhance with gadolinium. They are usually suppressed on T2 FLAIR sequences.

General imaging differential considerations include:

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Article information

rID: 10000
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Glioependymal cyst
  • Neuroglial cysts
  • Glioependymal cysts

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