Development of intratumoral cyst or extratumoral arachnoid cyst in intracranial schwannomas following gamma knife radiosurgery

Kensuke Murakami, Hidefumi Jokura, Jun Kawagishi, Mika Watanabe, Teiji Tominaga

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Intracranial schwannomas presenting with cyst formation following gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) were investigated to clarify their clinicopathological characteristics. Methods: Between 1994 and 2006, 492 patients presenting with intracranial schwannomas underwent GKRS. Among them, seven cases demonstrated either new formation of cysts or enlargement of preexisting cysts, which were treated with microsurgical intervention. These cases were retrospectively reviewed with regard to neuroradiological findings and histopathology. Results: These seven cases included five vestibular and two trigeminal schwannomas. Preexisting cysts were enlarged following GKRS in three cases, while they were newly formed in four cases. Salvage microsurgery was carried out at 7-167 months after the GKRS, and subtotal resection was achieved in three, partial resection with or without cyst fenestration in four. Neurological symptoms were improved in all six symptomatic cases. Preoperative MRI demonstrated two characteristic types of cyst. One was the intratumoral type, indicating hemorrhagic change on the MRI. Histopathological analysis demonstrated a cavernous angioma within the solid compartment of tumor. These two cases demonstrated enlargement of residual tumor with new cyst formation after resection of only the cyst. The other type was extratumoral cyst, which had a structure with a thin cyst wall without contrast enhancement, and the cyst was composed of arachnoid cells without tumor cells. Extratumoral cysts enlarged despite effective control of the tumor itself, which may be caused by osmotic gradient induced by tumor degeneration following GKRS. Conclusions: There were two types of cysts, intratumoral cyst and extratumoral arachnoid cyst, which developed following GKRS in intracranial schwannomas. Resection of the solid compartment as well as the cyst is required in schwannomas with expanding intratumoral cyst. Conversely, fenestration of the cyst alone might be effective in extratumoral arachnoid cysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1209
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun


  • Cavernous angioma
  • Cyst formation
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery
  • Intracranial schwannoma


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