Objective: Anterior cervical arachnoid cysts are rare in the pediatric population, with only 16 cases reported. We present the first case of an anterior cervical arachnoid cyst in a neonate and review the literature on pediatric cervical arachnoid cysts. Clinical presentation: A 16-day-old baby girl with a history of myelomeningocele repair progressively developed symptoms of upper extremity weakness over the course of 2 weeks. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a compressive arachnoid cyst extending from C2 to C7. Intervention: The child was taken for posterior cervical laminoplasty and cyst fenestration. Intraoperatively, diffuse cervical arachnoiditis was noted. Rapid improvement in upper extremity paresis was noted within 24 h of surgery, and MRI confirmed decompression of the cyst. However, flaccid upper extremity paresis recurred within 2 weeks. MRI confirmed recurrence of the anterior cervical arachnoid cyst. The child was taken for a secondary fenestration and stenting of the cyst. Only partial improvement in arm function was noted by 1 month following reoperation. Conclusion: Arachnoid cysts can be effectively treated with surgical fenestration, shunting, and complete or partial excision. Rapid identification and treatment results in improvement in myelopathic symptoms; however, the most efficacious treatment modality remains unknown. Of the 17 cases of anterior cervical arachnoid cysts reported in the literature, 11 (65%) have had either prior myelomeningocele repair or a history of spinal trauma. Anterior cervical arachnoid cysts should be considered in the differential diagnosis of acute onset myelopathy in the pediatric population especially in cases with a history of spinal trauma or myelomeningocele repair.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology