Percutaneous endoscopic treatment of suprasellar arachnoid cysts: ventriculocystostomy or ventriculocystocisternostomy?

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✓ The use of an endoscope in the treatment of suprasellar arachnoid cysts provides an opening of the upper and lower cyst walls, thereby allowing the surgeon to perform a ventriculocystostomy (VC) or a ventriculocystocysternostomy (VCC). To discover which procedure is appropriate, magnetic resonance (MR)—imaged cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow dynamics in two patients were analyzed, one having undergone a VC and the other a VCC using a rigid endoscope. Magnetic resonance imaging studies were performed before and after treatment, with long-term follow-up periods (18 months and 2 years). The two patients were reoperated on during the follow-up period because of slight headache recurrence in one case and MR—imaged CSF flow dynamics modifications in the other. In each case surgery confirmed the CSF flow dynamics modifications appearing on MR imaging.

In both cases, long-term MR imaging follow-up studies showed a secondary closing of the upper wall orifice. After VCC, however, the lower communication between the cyst and the cisterns remained functional.

The secondary closure of the upper orifice may be explained as follows: when opened, the upper wall becomes unnecessary and tends to return to a normal shape, leading to a secondary closure. The patent sylvian aqueduct aids this phenomenon, as observed after ventriculostomy when the aqueduct is secondarily functional.

The simplicity of the VCC performed using endoscopic control, which is the only procedure to allow the opening in the cyst's lower wall to remain patent, leads the authors to advocate this technique in the treatment of suprasellar arachnoid cysts.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Philippe Decq, M.D., Service de Neurochirurgie, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Boulevard du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, F-94010 Créteil, France.
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