Arachnoid cysts are common, accounting for approximately 1% of intracranial mass lesions. Most are congenital, clinically silent, and remain static in size. Occasionally, they increase in size and produce symptoms due to mass effect or obstruction. The mechanism of enlargement of arachnoid cysts is controversial. One-way slit valves are often hypothesized as the mechanism for enlargement. The authors present 4 cases of suprasellar prepontine arachnoid cysts in which a slit valve was identified. The patients presented with hydrocephalus due to enlargement of the cyst. The valve was located in the arachnoid wall of the cyst directly over the basilar artery. The authors believe this slit valve was responsible for the net influx of CSF into the cyst and for its enlargement. They also present 1 case of an arachnoid cyst in the middle cranial fossa that had a small circular opening but lacked a slit valve. This cyst did not enlarge but surgery was required because of rupture and the development of a subdural hygroma. One-way slit valves exist and are a possible mechanism of enlargement of suprasellar prepontine arachnoid cysts. The valve was located directly over the basilar artery in each of these cases. Caudad-to-cephalad CSF flow during the cardiac cycle increased the opening of the valve, whereas cephalad-to-caudad CSF flow during the remainder of the cardiac cycle pushed the slit opening against the basilar artery and decreased the size of the opening. Arachnoid cysts that communicate CSF via circular, nonslit valves are probably more likely to remain stable.