International Journal of Medical Sciences

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13 December 2017

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Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(4):345-350. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.345

Case Report

Foramen Magnum Arachnoid Cyst Induces Compression of the Spinal Cord and Syringomyelia: Case Report and Literature Review

Haiyan Huang1*, Yuanqian Li1*, Kan Xu1*, Ye Li2, Limei Qu3, Jinlu Yu1 ✉

1. Department of Neurosurgery, First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, 130021, P. R. China
2. Department of Radiology, First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, 130021, P. R. China
3. Department of Pathology, First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, 130021, P. R. China
* Haiyan Huang, Yunqian Li and Kan Xu contributed equally to the work.

Abstract

It is very rare that a foramen magnum arachnoid cyst induces compression of the spinal cord and syringomyelia, and currently there are few treatment experiences available. Here we reported the case of a 43-year-old male patient who admitted to the hospital due to weakness and numbness of all 4 limbs, with difficulty in urination and bowel movement. MRI revealed a foramen magnum arachnoid cyst with associated syringomyelia. Posterior fossa decompression and arachnoid cyst excision were performed. Decompression was fully undertaken during surgery; however, only the posterior wall of the arachnoid cyst was excised, because it was almost impossible to remove the whole arachnoid cyst due to toughness of the cyst and tight adhesion to the spinal cord. Three months after the surgery, MRI showed a reduction in the size of the arachnoid cyst but syrinx still remained. Despite this, the symptoms of the patient were obviously improved compared to before surgery. Thus, for the treatment of foramen magnum arachnoid cyst with compression of the spinal cord and syringomyelia, if the arachnoid cyst could not be completely excised, excision should be performed as much as possible with complete decompression of the posterior fossa, which could result in a satisfying outcome.

Keywords: foramen magnum, arachnoid cyst, syringomyelia.

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How to cite this article:
Huang H, Li Y, Xu K, Li Y, Qu L, Yu J. Foramen Magnum Arachnoid Cyst Induces Compression of the Spinal Cord and Syringomyelia: Case Report and Literature Review. Int J Med Sci 2011; 8(4):345-350. doi:10.7150/ijms.8.345. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v08p0345.htm