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Epiphyseal cyst


A cyst is a lump that develops within a tissue but whose presence is abnormal and detached from the tissue in question. By definition, an epiphyseal cyst is located in the epiphysis. The epiphysis is the portion at the end of long bones, especially those of the limbs or the ribs. When a bone cyst develops at this level, it is called an epiphyseal bone cyst or simply an epiphyseal cyst. This disease is most prevalent in children. However, the term "epiphyseal cyst" can also be used when a cyst grows in a gland called the pineal gland: this may also be called a pineal cyst. Both entities have of course nothing to do with one another. In most cases, the cysts are mild and do not cause discomfort.


The presence of an epiphyseal cyst may go unnoticed. In most cases, no symptoms are found. This is the case for most epiphyseal bone cysts, which, however, increase the risk of fracture trauma.
An epiphyseal cyst in the pineal gland can cause the following symptoms:
- headache;
- mental and behavioral disorders;
- memory problems;
- Eye movement disorders;
- occasionally, a syndrome of intracranial hypertension accompanied with headache, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision;
- in some cases, a loss of balance and movement.


An epiphyseal bone cyst is usually discovered during a radiography performed for another reason, or at the site of a bone fracture. Regarding epiphyseal pineal cysts, medical imaging or MRIs will permit a doctor to highlight neurological clinical signs. A surgical approach, consisting of a biopsy or removal, is tricky.


Treatment may consist of the removal of the cyst surgically (this is usually a partial removal). If the location is difficult to access, such interventions are difficult to perform.
If the size of the cyst is small and the symptoms are not too bothersome, simple monitoring may be sufficient. MRIs are renewed according to a specific timetable (resulting from a medical decision) to monitor the evolution of the cyst size, which does not usually pose a problem if it remains stable.