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Anthony M. Alvarado, Kyle A. Smith and Roukoz B. Chamoun

Glioependymal cysts are rare congenital lesions of the central nervous system. Reported surgical treatments of these lesions have varied and yielded mixed results, and the optimal surgical strategy is still controversial. The authors here report the clinical and surgical outcomes for three adult patients successfully treated with neuroendoscopic fenestration into the ventricular system. The patients had presented with symptomatic glioependymal cysts in the period from 2013 to 2016 at the authors’ institution. All underwent minimally invasive neuroendoscopic fenestration of the glioependymal cyst into the lateral ventricle via a stereotactically guided burr hole. Presenting clinical and radiological findings, operative courses, and postintervention outcomes were evaluated.

All three patients initially presented with symptoms related to regional mass effect of the underlying glioependymal cyst, including headaches, visual disturbances, and hemiparesis. All patients were successfully treated with endoscopic fenestration of the cyst wall into the lateral ventricle, where the wall was thinnest. Postoperatively, all patients reported improvement in their presenting symptoms, and neuroimaging demonstrated decompression of the cyst. Clinical follow-up ranged from 4 months to 5 years without evidence of reexpansion of the cyst or shunt requirement.

Compared to open resection and shunting of the cyst contents, minimally invasive endoscopic fenestration of a glioependymal cyst into the ventricular system is a safe and effective surgical option. This approach is practical, is less invasive than open resection, and appears to provide a long-term solution.