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Tension Arachnoid Cyst Causing Uncal Herniation in a 60 Year Old: A Rare Presentation

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Arachnoid cysts are congenital benign cysts accounting for approximately 1% of all intracranial mass lesions. Uncal herniation due to arachnoid cyst is a rare mode of presentation. It is hypothesized that only tension arachnoid cyst could cause the life-threatening condition that results from a progressive deterioration and worsening of a simple and usually congenital arachnoid cyst, associated with the formation of a “ball valve” at the point of an opening on the cyst wall. To-date only one case of an arachnoid cyst causing Uncal herniation has been reported to the best of our knowledge. We present a rare case of uncal herniation in a 60-year-old lady caused by a giant left temporal arachnoid cyst. She presented to us in emergency room after experiencing headaches since last one week followed by vomiting, seizures, and altered state of consciousness. She was operated immediately and marsupialization of the arachnoid cyst was performed. She showed good recovery. Although arachnoid cyst is a benign slowly growing pathology, it can lead to Uncal herniation as a ”tension“ arachnoid cyst, possible due to ”ball-valve“ mechanism. Elective treatment should be considered to prevent progressive significant enlargement of cyst.

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Keywords: Arachnoid Cysts; Cerebrospinal fluid; Computerized tomography; Congenital Benign Cysts; Craniotomy; Gadolinium Study; Hemiparesis; Hemorrhage; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Supra-Orbital Region; Uncal Herniation; ball-valve mechanism; marsupialization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, L12 2AP, UK.

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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