What Are Symptoms of Pineal Cysts in the Brain?

Small pineal cysts rarely cause symptoms, while larger pineal cysts can cause headaches, elevated pressure on the brain, problems with vision, seizures, or a loss of consciousness, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Increased pressure on the brain leads to issues such as nausea, vomiting and lethargy, while vision problems may include double vision, blurred vision or dizziness.

Some symptoms associated with pineal cysts are fairly rare, states the National Organization for Rare Disorders. In a small number of cases, a person’s mental status may change, and bleeding into the cyst can occur. Some children with pineal cysts experience delayed sexual development or precocious puberty as well.

As of 2015, doctors don’t know the cause of pineal cysts, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. When a large pineal cyst is asymptomatic, there is not a typical course of treatment other than monitoring of the cyst, as growth can occur. When a pineal cyst causes issues that are continual or problematic, surgical removal may be necessary. Doctors use three types of surgery to remove pineal cysts, including craniotomy, endoscopy and stereotactic aspiration. During a craniotomy, the surgeon removes a piece of the skull and eliminates the cyst. An endoscopy makes use of a thin tube, which the doctor inserts into the skull to remove the cyst. A stereotactic aspiration uses a computer-generated model, allowing the surgeon to insert a tube into the cyst and suck out the fluid.