The aim of this pictorial essay is to review the imaging findings of the intracranial cystic lesions and to emphasize the importance of proper evaluation while making differential diagnosis.
Intracranial cystic lesions are diagnostic challenge of daily practice in neuroradiology and common findings at magnetic resonance (MR) and computed tomographic (CT) brain imaging.
These lesions not only show wide spectrum of imaging findings which are changing with size,
tissue of origin and enhancement pattern but also have different clinical presentation and patient history.
Despite intracranial cystic lesions have mostly no clinical importance and are called as benign lesions,
some of them require careful diagnostic approach and might cause serious clinical outcomes.
Findings and procedure details
Arachnoid cysts are benign,
intraarachnoidal space-occupying lesions that are filled with clear CSF and tend to be unilocular,
smoothly marginated expansile lesions without communication with the ventricular system.
Most arachnoid cysts are supratentorial.
The best diagnostic clue is a sharply demarcated extraaxial cyst that can displace or deform adjacent brain.
Scalloping of the adjacent calvarium is often seen.
The classic arachnoid cyst has no internal architecture,
does not enhance and typically has the same signal intensity as CSF at all sequences.
Intracranial cystic lesions are mostly benign lesions that commonly encountered in daily practice but also might be a diagnostic challenge.
A proper evaluation provides diagnostic accuracy in exceptional cases that have clinical importance.
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