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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Pineal cyst

*

* Not a rare disease

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Your Question

My wife was diagnosed with a cyst on her pineal gland. We have been researching information and have seen both good and bad things. She's had two MRIs and bloodwork done, and the doctors believe it's benign. What else can we do?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might pineal cysts be treated?

The best treatment options for pineal cysts depend on many factors, including the size of the cyst and whether or not it is associated with symptoms. For example, people with pineal cysts that do not cause symptoms may not require any form of treatment.[1] However, they may need to have regular check-ups with a physician and follow up imaging if they have a large cyst (greater than 10-14 mm) or develop symptoms that could be related to the cyst.[1]

Treatment is often recommended for those individuals with pineal cysts that cause hydrocephalus; neurological symptoms such as headache or disturbance of vision; or enlargement of the cyst over time.[2][3] Treatment may include surgery to remove the cyst, sometimes followed by the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Aspiration of the contents of the cyst using ultrasound guidance has been explored as an alternative approach to surgery, and more recently, endoscopic procedures have been used.[4] Radiation therapy may be recommended for cysts that recur after treatment.[1]

Last updated: 11/13/2014

References
  • Maria Moschovi, MD; George P Chrousos, MD. Pineal Gland Masses. UpToDate. October 2013;
  • Taraszewska A, Matyja E, Koszewki W, Zaczynski A, Bardadin K, Czernicki Z. Asymptomatic and symptomatic glial cysts of the pineal gland. Folia Neuropathol. 2008; 46(3):186-195.
  • Al-Holou WN, Maher CO, Muraszko KM, Garton HJL. The natural history of pineal cysts in children and young adults. J. Neurosurg. Pediatrics. February 2010; 5(2):162-166.
  • Costa F, Fornari M, Valla P, Servello D. Symptomatic Pineal Cyst: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Minim. Invas. Neurosurg.. 2008; 51:231-233.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.