Normally benign, these slow-growing tumors can occur in various structures of the skull, spine and brain when normal developmental cells are trapped within the growing brain.
Depending on the location of the tumor, symptoms can include vision difficulties, seizures, fever, headaches, neck stiffness, facial pain, numbness, or weakness and hearing loss.
Both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) brain scans can identify these tumors.
Surgery is the primary treatment. Use of the endoscope may be very helpful in obtaining a more complete surgical removal.
Almost 100 percent of scalp and skull epidermoids and 50 percent to 80 percent of intracranial and intraspinal cysts can be removed completely.
An incomplete removal generally means that only a tiny remnant of the cyst lining was left behind.
Clinical recurrence is infrequent even when small fragments of cyst lining are left behind.
Occasional operative complications result from damage to nerves, blood vessels, or brain or spinal cord