Story of a patient: What is a Tarlov cyst? (5)

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Story of a patient: What is a Tarlov cyst? (5)

Story of a patient: What is a Tarlov cyst? (5)

Author Meopin - 6 March 2018

Tarlov (TC) cysts, or Tarlov / perineural cysts, are a rare pathology of the spinal nerve in which dilated nerve root sheaths and abnormal sacs are filled with cerebrospinal fluid and may cause progressively painful radiculopathy and many other multi systemic problems. They occur most often in the sacrum, just below the lumbar spine, but can also occur in all sections of the spine.

Some patients have cysts in all sections of the spine, including cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral.

There are a number of conditions that can create increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure, which increases the flow of cerebrospinal fluid into cysts by causing them to grow in size and create symptoms.

Some incidents or conditions may make the Tarlov cysts asymptomatic in symptomatic cysts for example: traumatic injuries such as falls, automobile accidents, heavy lifting, childbirth and epidural. As well as an injury to the spinal cord, an increase in CSF pressure, or a blockage of CSF can lead to the formation of cysts. It is also noted that the herpes simplex virus can cause the symptoms of Tarlov cyst.

There is substantial clinical evidence that mutations of collagen or connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos’s Marfan, Sjogren’s Gougerot, Loeys-Deitz, Lupus, MCTD (Mixed Connective Tissue Disorders), UCTD (Tissue Disorders undifferentiated conjunctiva) are predisposing and may contribute to developmental cysts.


Next article: “Symptoms of Tarlov cyst”

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