CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian Journal of Neurosurgery 2023; 12(01): 003-009
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1731623
Review Article

Clinical Profile and Treatment Outcome of Spinal Epidural Arachnoid Cysts: A Systematic Review of Case Studies and Reports

Aditya K. Patil
1   Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Srikant K. Swain
1   Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Suresh Sharma
2   College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Rajnish Kumar Arora
1   Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Achal Sharma
3   Department of Neurosurgery, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Poonam Arora
4   Department of Emergency Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Radhey S. Mittal
1   Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Background A spinal epidural arachnoid cyst (SEAC) is a rare clinical entity. We performed a systematic review of the literature to obtain information regarding demographics, clinical presentation, treatment modalities, and outcome of SEACs.

Methods A literature search was performed by using the databases PubMed/Medline, PubMed Central, Embase, Cochrane Library, Ovid MEDLINE, and Ovid Medline In-Process. A total of 170 articles were found on literature search. We found 575 cases of SEAC since 1904 for inclusion in the review including three cases which were operated by us. We studied the patient characteristics, clinical features, and management strategies, and evaluated their outcome.

Results The average age of presentation was 30 years with a male:female ratio of 1.03:1. They are commonly seen in the thoracic region (42.3%). The length of cyst was more than two vertebral levels in 85.81%. Mean symptom duration was 29 months, with most common presentation being that of compressive myelopathy. A good clinical outcome was present in symptomatic patients who had a shorter symptom duration and underwent complete surgical excision of the SEAC. Age, sex, length of lesion, and presence of dural defect did not have a bearing on the surgical outcome.

Conclusion For thoracic compressive myelopathy in a young patient, SEAC should be kept as a differential diagnosis. Surgical complete excision of the cyst with meticulous closure of the dural defect is the standard in management for a good clinical outcome.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Article published online:
13 January 2022

© 2021. Neurological Surgeons' Society of India. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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