Subependymal cyst

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 20 Dec 2021

Subependymal cysts may either be postnatally acquired posthemorrhagic cysts or may be congenital (germinolytic). The congenital cysts may result from infection, ischemic injury, or hemorrhage.

Most frequently seen in preterm infants, likely related to their persistent germinal matrix at the caudothalamic groove and propensity for hemorrhage in this location.

Congenital cysts may often be an isolated incidental finding in healthy newborns. However, they also have associations with congenital viral infections (mainly cytomegalovirus and rubella), metabolic disorders (predominantly Zellweger syndrome), chromosomal abnormalities, and maternal cocaine use. 

The cysts are not epithelium-lined and rather are lined by germinal cells and glial tissue. Their vascular origin is suggested by macrophage-like cells in the fluid.

Can be differentiated from other cystic lesions (such as periventricular leukomalacia and connatal cysts) by location. Subependymal cysts should be located below the external angle of the lateral ventricles (superior/lateral margin of the frontal horn) and posterior to the foramen of Monro.

Posthemorrhagic vs germinolytic (congenital) cysts are difficult to differentiate sonographically.

See article: Intracranial cystic lesions in the perinatal period.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.