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Disease Profile

Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Arachnoid cysts, spinal intradural


Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid-filled sacs that are located between the spinal cord and the arachnoid membrane (one of the three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord). The signs and symptoms of the condition vary based on the size and location of the cysts. Some affected people may have no suspicious symptoms while others experience progressive back and leg pain; tingling or numbness in the hands or feet; weakness of the legs; and involuntary muscle spasms (spasticity) that result in slow, stiff movements of the legs. When present, symptoms usually occur when the cysts compress the spinal cord or other nearby nerves. Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts are often present at birth and are caused by developmental abnormalities in the spinal cord that occur during the pregnancy. They can also result from a previous infection or injury and develop later in life.[1][2] Although there is disagreement in the medical community regarding when to treat spinal intradural arachnoid cysts, the need for treatment generally depends on the size and location of the cyst and whether or not it is causing symptoms. When indicated, the cysts are typically treated with surgery.[2][3]


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Abnormality of the vertebral column
Abnormal spine
Abnormal vertebral column
Abnormality of the spine

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Arachnoid cyst
Fluid-filled sac located in membrane surrounding brain or spinal cord
Autosomal dominant inheritance
Leg paralysis


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

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    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR. Arachnoid Cyst Imaging. Medscape Reference. January 2016; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/336489-overview.
        2. NINDS Arachnoid Cysts Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. March 2016; https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Arachnoid-Cysts-Information-Page.
        3. Evangelou P, Meixensberger J, Bernhard M, Hirsch W, Kiess W, Merkenschlager A, Nestler U, Preuss M. Operative management of idiopathic spinal intradural arachnoid cysts in children: a systematic review. Childs Nerv Syst. April 2013; 29(4):657-664. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224408.