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Shrinking of a Tarlov cyst
  1. Kieran P Murphy1 and
  2. Susannah Ryan2
  1. 1 Medical Imaging, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kieran P Murphy, kieran.murphy{at}


A 65-year-old patient presenting with left labial and perirectal pain was diagnosed with bilateral Tarlov cysts. Upon treatment of the left Tarlov cyst (the right was asymptomatic) using image-guided aspiration and subsequent injection of the cyst with fibrin sealant, the cyst reduced in size. To our knowledge, there are currently no other documented cases in which the Tarlov cyst reduced in size following this procedure. This case would seem to suggest that clinicians are poorly informed with regard to Tarlov cysts. These cysts are more common in Caucasian women, many of whom are told their cysts are not responsible for their pain or that they are not treatable. However, there is clear evidence that some Tarlov cysts are symptomatic and minimally invasive procedures have been developed to treat them. As they primarily occur in women, it is possible gender bias may also play a role in the delayed diagnosis of the patient’s pain.

  • neuroimaging
  • interventional radiology

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  • Contributors Professor KPM proposed the idea for this case report, cared for the patient, performed the procedure outlined in the case report, acquired and interpreted the data described in the paper as well as cowriting and editing the paper. SR analysed and interpreted data outlined in the case report, met with the patient and also cowrote the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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