Choroid plexus cyst

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Choroid plexus cyst Test
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 G93.0
ICD-9 348.0

Choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) are cysts that occur within choroid plexus of the brain. The brain contains pockets or spaces called ventricles with a spongy layer of cells and blood vessels called the choroid plexus. This is in the middle of the fetal brain. The choroid plexus has the important function of producing a fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid produced by the cells of the choroid plexus fills the ventricles and then flows around the brain and the spinal cord to provide a cushion of fluid around these structures.

CPCs can form within this structure and come from fluid trapped within this spongy layer of cells, much like a soap bubble or a blister. CPCs are often called "soft signs" or fetal ultrasound "markers" because some studies have found a weak association between CPCs and fetal chromosome abnormalities.

It is believed that many adults have one or more tiny CPCs.[1] CPCs have no impact on an individual's health or development or learning. The fetal brain may create these cysts as a normal part of development. They are temporary and usually are gone by the 32nd week of pregnancy.

Chromosome problems[edit]

Genetic counseling is often recommended to provide more information about fetal CPCs, to answer questions and concerns, and to outline available options such as amniocentesis or a blood test from the mother. There is a possible association between ultrasound-detected fetal CPCs and chromosome problems in the baby. Types of chromosome problems that are occasionally seen include Trisomy 18[2][3] or Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome).[4]

Generally the risks are very low if there are no other risk factors.

A recent study found that of 106,732 women under the age of 35 that had an isolated CPC identified in a fetal ultrasound, that actually none of the cases had resulted in trisomy 18; the study concluded that "there is no evidence that detection of isolated choroid plexus cyst in women who are <35 years of age increases the risk of trisomy 18".[5]

Other factors which may have a bearing on the baby's chances of developing chromosome problems include:

  • mother's age at the expected date of delivery
  • the results of serum screening; XAFP triple testing or quad screening
  • evidence of other "fetal findings" seen at the time of the ultrasound that may suggest a chromosome problem


  1. ^ Jeon JH, Lee SW, Ko JK, et al. (2005). "Neuroendoscopic removal of large choroid plexus cyst: a case report". J. Korean Med. Sci. 20 (2): 335–9. doi:10.3346/jkms.2005.20.2.335. PMC 2808618. PMID 15832013. 
  2. ^ Hurt K, Sottner O, Záhumenský J, et al. (2007). "[Choroid plexus cysts and risk of trisomy 18. Modifications regarding maternal age and markers]". Ceska Gynekol (in Czech) 72 (1): 49–52. PMID 17357350. 
  3. ^ Papp C, Ban Z, Szigeti Z, Csaba A, Beke A, Papp Z (2007). "Role of second trimester sonography in detecting trisomy 18: a review of 70 cases". J Clin Ultrasound 35 (2): 68–72. doi:10.1002/jcu.20290. PMID 17206726. 
  4. ^ Dagklis T, Plasencia W, Maiz N, Duarte L, Nicolaides KH (2007). "Choroid plexus cyst, intracardiac echogenic focus, hyperechogenic bowel and hydronephrosis in screening for trisomy 21 at 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks". Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 31 (2): 132. doi:10.1002/uog.5224. PMID 18085527. 
  5. ^ Demasio, K; Canterino, J; Ananth, C; Fernandez, C; Smulian, J; Vintzileos, A (November 2002). "Isolated choroid plexus cyst in low-risk women less than 35 years old.". American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 187 (5): 1246–9. doi:10.1067/mob.2002.127463. PMID 12439513. 

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