Spinal bronchogenic cysts are rare entities arising from errors in embryogenesis and consisting of respiratory epithelial cells. To date, there are three other published accounts of intramedullary cysts, which were partially resected and thereby warrant close follow-up and monitoring. The authors present an illustrative case of a patient presenting with Klippel-Feil anomaly and a large intramedullary bronchogenic cyst in the upper cervical spine.
The authors noted fusion of the C5–6 laminae as they performed the C2–6 laminectomy. After dural opening, an intramedullary lesion with a smooth, fibrous component emerging from the dorsal spinal cord was immediately observed. The dorsal spinal columns were not involved with this cyst wall or the other smaller cysts, which all contained gray fluid. The cyst walls were partially resected and sent for pathological examination.
Spinal developmental cysts are associated with other anatomical anomalies, such as Klippel-Feil anomaly, arising from errors in embryogenesis. For intramedullary lesions such as this patient’s bronchogenic cyst, partial resection and decompression are the goals of surgery because aggressive debulking may lead to neurological compromise. Close imaging follow-up is warranted.