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  • Author or Editor: Andrew D. Parent x
  • By Author: Haines, Duane E. x
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John A. Lancon, Duane E. Haines, Frank A. Raila, Andrew D. Parent and V. V. Vedanarayanan

✓ Expanding cysts of the septum pellucidum, although rare, may be a cause of significant neurological dysfunction. Most become symptomatic as a result of obstruction of the interventricular foramina and produce headaches, papilledema, emesis, and loss of consciousness. Behavioral, autonomic, and sensorimotor symptoms occur when an expanding cyst impinges on the structures of the hypothalamoseptal triangle or impairs the deep cerebral venous drainage. Neuroophthalmological symptoms may develop as a consequence of hydrocephalus or direct compression of visual structures. The authors describe the case of a young boy with an expanding septum pellucidum cyst who presented with a sudden, severe headache and loss of consciousness. In addition, he had a history of hyperactivity and progressively declining school performance. All symptoms resolved following decompression of the cyst. Seventeen cases from the literature are reviewed. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of symptoms secondary to expanding septum pellucidum cysts are outlined, and the related clinical neuroanatomy is described. A model is proposed for the natural history of expanding septum pellucidum cysts that provides a rational basis for understanding their clinical behavior and response to intervention. In most cases, fenestration or shunting will relieve the obstructive hydrocephalus and mass effect caused by the cyst and will produce rapid symptomatic improvement.

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