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What are choroid plexus cysts?

It is important to realize that a choroid plexus cyst is not considered a brain abnormality and is seen relatively commonly in about 1 out of every 50-100 babies. The Choroid plexus is a part of the brain that is responsible for the production of the cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid surrounds the brain and the spinal cord acting as an important shock absorber and protecting the vital structures from physical damage.

During the formation of the formation of the choroid plexus, a tiny bubble of fluid can get entrapped into the plexus and appear as a choroid plexus cyst.

Is a choroid plexus cyst dangerous?

As mentioned earlier, a choroid plexus cyst by itself is not considered to be very dangerous, and it resolves on its own in the majority of the cases. The presence of a choroid plexus cyst, though, is a matter of concern because it can be associated with a chromosomal abnormality called trisomy 18.

Trisomy 18 is a very severe disorder and almost always leads to the stillbirth of the infant. Those that do survive in childbirth are affected by severe mental retardation, major organ abnormalities, and other crippling abnormalities.

The association of a choroid plexus cyst and trisomy 18 is not completely understood, Around 33% of the cases suffering from trisomy 18 also show the presence of a choroid plexus cyst. The odds of a choroid plexus cyst being associated with trisomy 18 has been ascertained to be around 1% and so while its presence is a cause for concern, it should not cause alarm or panic.

What is the next step in the discovery of a choroid plexus cyst?

There is no treatment required for the presence of choroid plexus cyst because they resolve on their own. The attending doctors may prefer to conduct an amniocentesis to count the number of chromosomes and rule out the presence of trisomy 18 as well. While a lot of doctors advise patients to get this test done so that they can be absolutely certain, some patients may not be able to undergo the test because of financial reasons or because the amniocentesis test carries with it a very small chance of miscarriage.

If the parents decide not go in for the amniocentesis then they should assume that the child will have a normal development because that is what the overwhelming chances of happening are.

Is the size of the choroid plexus cyst something to worry about?

Doctors are always a little more worried about a choroid plexus cyst which is larger in size but that does not mean that there is any change in the approach to it. Both the smaller and the larger choroid plexus cysts will resolve on their own without any external intervention.

Some people believe that the fact a choroid plexus cyst has resolved means that there is no chance of trisomy 18. This is incorrect since that happens in all cases whether there is a chromosomal abnormality or not.

Taking additional ultrasounds to check if the cyst has resolves is not advised.

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