The term “Colloid” means a mixture which has properties varying between a fine suspension and a solution. Colloid cyst is a congenital cyst present in the anterior region of the third ventricle lying in the middle of the brain inside which a gelatinous material is present. Hence it is referred to as “Colloid.”
These cysts have an epithelial lining in the interior wall which proves that they have originated from the endoderm or primitive neuroepithelium of the tela choroidea of the ventricle in the brain.
Colloid cysts are normally rare and accounts for 0.5%-1.5% of all the Central Nervous System tumors and affects at least 3 people in a million every year, most of them being adults of around 40 years of age and above. Both men and women are prone to such lesions equally.
The cysts appear spherical in shape and vary in size from 3-40 mm in diameter. They normally do not grow in size and there is a least possibility of spreading to other areas of the body.
These are not exactly tumors usually in the benign stage but if found symptomatic can prove fatal.
These cysts are present in the neonatal stage but the exact cause is still unexplained. The primary factor may be genetic. Congenital malformations, present from natal stage, are regarded to be the possible cause of this disorder.
Some of the main symptoms of this condition include:
Recurrent headaches are very common during a colloid cyst and are the result of formation of large cyst which cause blockage and enlargement of the ventricles. The high pressure which creates inside the brain gives rise to such headaches every now and then. This condition is referred to as Hydrocephalus.
Patients may have difficulty in moving their limbs and maintaining their normal balance due to which the regular day-to-day activities gets affected.
Patients often experience dizziness while at motion or rest.
Patients face difficulty in remembering simple day-to-day activities.
People with colloid cysts may have double vision where they see simultaneously two images of a single object. This is highly risky especially if they are travelling anywhere and can lead to any major accident if precautions are not taken.
Patients always have uneasiness which often triggers vomiting sensation.
Loss of consciousness followed by Coma is one of the severe conditions, patients usually go through.
Patients sometimes undergo irritability and emotional changes which affects their personal and work life.
Patients tend to get lethargic and get tired very soon. They usually experience drowsiness.
Behavioral patterns changes due to which the patients undergo personality disorders which makes them less gregarious.
Colloid cysts may affect the Thyroid region. They are normally called Thyroid nodules as they appear like nodules in the Thyroid. These cysts usually contain a mixture of dead thyroid adenomas and gelatin materials.
Like the colloidal cyst in the brain, this one is also non-lethal but in some cases might prove fatal if left untreated and is normally detected through ultrasound techniques.
Regular physical observation may not reveal the minute abnormalities associated with this disorder. Naturally, CT and MRI scans are the only useful techniques to detect the presence of any cysts in the brain. The presence of Hydrocephalus can also be found out using such techniques. These cysts usually appear like grapes, small and oval in the anterior and posterior aspects of the Third Ventricle.
The most important diagnostic step is to consult a good physician who can carefully draw a conclusion from the health history as well as the initial neurological examination of the patient. This will help him/her take corrective actions in time and treat the condition.
A Colloidal cyst may not be fatal every time. In some cases, the cyst is not found to grow further. Due to this, many patients prefer regular check up, done through MRI scanning. This helps make sure whether the cyst is undergoing any change and increasing in size. This is useful when no sign of Hydrocephalus is observed. But in most occasions, a surgery is advisable as the former method is not very reliable.
Some common methods used for curing the condition involve:
This is a less invasive surgery where an endoscope is inserted into the brain through a small hole to reach out to the third ventricle and eventually removing the cyst completely with the help of some small surgical tools.
This is a more invasive and time consuming process where the skull is opened to directly remove the cyst unlike Endoscopic surgery. This is an advantageous process as it helps view the cyst directly and makes the surgery easier.
In this process, a needle is inserted into the cyst to remove the fluid contained inside it. This reduces the size of the cyst and decreases pressure inside the brain during Hydrocephalus. However, the technique is not preferable as it involves high risk of inflammation and recurrence.
The surgical methods are effective ones and cure the patient entirely but in both the cases of surgery the cyst walls should be removed completely along with the cyst otherwise the problem will reoccur. Healing of the brain is very important prior to the surgery as any slight injury to the brain may cause the cyst to reappear.
The outcome of this condition is usually positive. With total resection, the condition shows a low rate of recurrence. These are benign tumors and do not involve malignant complications. However, rate of recurrence is high when only aspiration is conducted.
Colloid cysts can give rise to very discomforting symptoms. Naturally, this condition needs to be treated at the earliest. If any of your family members is showing symptoms of this disorder, get in touch with a professional healthcare provider and seek immediate treatment. Early treatment can ensure early recovery from this difficult condition.