Surgical Experience and Management of Intracranial Neurenteric Cysts: Single-Center Experience and Review of the Literature

Karan J. Yagnik, Kunal Vakharia, Rachael A. Vaubel, M. Adelita Vizcaino, John C. Benson, David J. Daniels, Michael J. Link, Jamie J. Van Gompel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction  Neurenteric cysts (NECs) are rare, congenital lesions lined by endodermal cell-derived columnar or cuboidal epithelium. Based on previous studies, gross total removal of the capsule has been presumed to be the ideal surgical goal. Objective  This series was undertaken to further understand the risk of recurrence based on the extent of capsule resection. Methods  Records were retrospectively reviewed for all patients with radiographic or pathological evidence of intracranial NEC from 1996 to 2021. Results  A total of eight patients were identified; four of eight (50%) presented with headache, and four had signs of one or more cranial nerve syndromes. One patient (13%) presented with third nerve palsy, one (13%) had sixth nerve palsy, and two (25%) with hemifacial spasm. One patient (13%) presented with signs of obstructive hydrocephalus. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated T2 hyper- or isointense lesions. Diffusion-weighted imaging was negative in all patients (100%) and T1 contrast-enhanced imaging demonstrated minimal rim enhancement in two patients (25%). In three of eight (38%), a gross total resection (GTR) was achieved, while in four (50%), a near-total resection, and in one (13%), a decompression was performed. Recurrences occurred in two (25%) patients, one with decompression and another with near-total resection, among these 1/2 required repeat surgery after a mean follow-up of 77 months. Conclusion  In this series, none from GTR group demonstrated recurrence, while 40% of those receiving less than GTR recurred, underpinning the importance of maximally safe resection in these patients. Overall patients did well without major morbidity from surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-280
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 12 2021


  • craniotomy
  • enterogenous cyst
  • foramen magnum
  • neurenteric cyst
  • pontomedullary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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