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Intraspinal Cysts: A Classification and Literature Review

GOYAL, R. N., MS, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Ed); RUSSELL, N. A., MD, FRCS(C); BENOIT, B. G., MD, FRCS(C); BELANGER, J. M. E. G., MD, FRCP(C)

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Advances in radiologic technology have allowed the identification of a variety of cystic lesions of spinal nerve roots. Failure to appreciate the different characteristics of these cysts has led to a confusion in terminology, with different terms often being used to describe the same lesion. In an attempt at clarification, the literature is reviewed and a simplified classification of spinal cysts presented. The distinguishing features of each type of cyst, its investigation, and appropriate treatment are discussed.

Division of Neurosurgery and the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Ottawa, and Ottawa Civic Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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