|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 87
Parasellar arachnoid cyst presenting with a nonpupil sparing third nerve palsy mimicking a posterior communicating artery aneurysm in an adult
Zachary J Tempel1, Stephen A Johnson1, Paul S Richard1, Robert M Friedlander1, William E Rothfus2, Ronald L Hamilton3
1 Department of Neurological Surgery, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, M8709 South Tower, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
2 Department of Radiology, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, M8709 South Tower, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
3 Department of Neuropathology, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, M8709 South Tower, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Background: Arachnoid cysts are congenital lesions that contain fluid identical to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). They usually do not communicate with CSF spaces. The vast majority of arachnoid cysts are congenital asymptomatic lesions that are discovered incidentally. Those lesions that do become symptomatic typically present in childhood with signs and symptoms of intracranial hypertension, seizures, and focal neurologic deficits specific to cyst location.
Case Description: A rare case of a parasellar arachnoid cyst presenting with oculomotor palsy is presented. The patient is a 45-year-old male who presented with acute onset diplopia and frontal headache. Neurologic examination revealed right ptosis, pupillary dilation, and opthalmoparesis consistent with an oculomotor palsy. Computed tomography (CT) scan and lumbar puncture failed to reveal evidence of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain demonstrated a 1 cm right parasellar nonenhancing mass that was hyperintense on T2 flair and with a fluid-fluid level concerning for a thrombosed posterior communicating artery (PCommA) aneurysm. There was an additional finding of a left occipital pole intraparenchymal hemorrhage in the setting of multiple hereditary cavernomas. Formal cerebral angiography revealed normal intracranial and extracranial vasculature. The patient was taken to the operating room for a right frontotemporal craniotomy, which revealed compression of the right oculomotor nerve by an arachnoid cyst. The cyst was fenestrated and resected with decompression of the oculomotor nerve. Postoperatively, the third nerve palsy had completely resolved.
Conclusions: The above case demonstrates that arachnoid cysts should be considered in the differential for patients presenting with nonpupil sparing third nerve palsy and require timely surgical intervention. As is the case for an expanding PCommA aneurysm, prompt decompression results in the best chance for recovery of oculomotor nerve function.
Zachary J Tempel
Department of Neurological Surgery, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, M8709 South Tower, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
© 2013 Tempel et al; This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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