Background/objectiveSpinal arachnoid cysts (SAC) are intradural lesions, which may provoke a compression of the spinal cord and roots. Endoscopic techniques are increasingly used to minimize the surgical access and the postoperative scar tissue. Shunts may also represent an option. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the technique of endoscopic-assisted fenestration and positioning of a cysto-peritoneal diversion in a thoracic SAC using a flexible endoscope and to perform a systematic literature review on this subject.
Material and methodsWe reported our case and we performed a review of the literature, searching for all the adult cases of Type III SACs in English language treated through endoscopic procedures.
ResultsWe found 5 articles matching our search criteria and we included 9 adult patients in our analysis. Six patients were females and the most common localization was the thoracic spine. Six patients underwent selective laminectomies followed by endoscopic fenestration without cyst wall resection. Three patients had a percutaneous endoscopic inspection of the cyst and in two cases a cysto-subarachnoid shunt space was performed. Improvement of pre-operative neurological deficit was reported in six patients, no patients experienced clinical deterioration. The mean follow-up was 22 months and no progression or recurrence was reported.
ConclusionThe implementation of endoscopy allows a minimally invasive treatments with good visualization of cyst anatomy and precise shunt positioning under real-time guidance. Endoscopy is technically demanding but it can offer similar clinical outcomes when compared to microscopic procedures with a limited rate of post-operative complications.The long-term risk of recurrence should be established by prospective studies.