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A colloid cyst is a benign tumour located usually in the fluid-filled spaces of the brain (ventricles), most commonly in the third ventricle. It consists of a fibrous wall containing mucoid substances.
The cause of colloid cysts is unknown. They are typical in location and presentation and are extremely slow growing.
Due to its position in the ventricles, it can cause symptoms by:
Intermittent and chronic obstructive hydrocephalus may result in headaches, nausea/vomiting or other neurological symptoms (eg blurred vision, seizures). Even with removal of the colloid cyst, chronic enlargement and scarring of the ventricles may be present resulting in persistent symptoms of raised intracranial pressure.
Pressure on surrounding tissue may result in neurological deficits. This may include weakness, numbness or personality changes. Memory and attention span may be unduly affected.
Reports of sudden death has been reported with colloid cysts although the mechanism of how this occurs is not fully understood. Theories include sudden increases in intracranial pressure due to obstructive hydrocephalus or venous obstruction have not been confirmed.
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