CNS tumor
CNS cysts
Enterogenous cyst

Topic Completed: 1 February 2012

Minor changes: 27 June 2020

Revised: 31 December 2018, last major update February 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Endodermal (enterogenous) cyst

Eman Abdelzaher, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,721
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Cite this page: Abdelzaher E. Enterogenous cyst. website. Accessed July 5th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Cyst lined by simple columnar epithelium (with or without cilia or mucus globules)
  • Rare, benign; probably of malformative nature
  • Also called neurenteric, enteric, enterogenic, bronchogenic, respiratory cyst
  • Usually intraspinal, rarely intracranial
  • Favored sites: posterior fossa and spinal cord (usually anterior to cord, intradural, extramedullary)
  • All ages are affected: infants, children and adults
Radiology description
  • Like the closely related Rathke cleft cyst and colloid cyst, cyst is often bright on precontrast images
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

MR: cervical neuroenteric cyst

Case reports
  • Complete excision; occasionally is adherent to adjacent structures
  • Recurrence may occur
Gross description
  • Usually 1 cm or less, simple, thin walled, filled with opalescent mucinous material
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Columnar epithelium resting on collagen layer
  • Goblet cells often present
  • Variable cilia, may have squamous metaplasia
  • More complex lesions replicate gastrointestinal or respiratory epithelium (Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2004;12:230)
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Ciliated columnar epithelium

Subdural intraspinal cyst

Enteric cyst (H&E)


1: MR shows mass at cerebellopontine angle
2: Cyst lining has single or pseudostratified columnal
epithelium with focal squamous metaplasia
3: Cells have prominent apical cilia with basal nuclei but no atypia

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Well developed stereocilia, distinct basal cells, thin basement membrane
Differential diagnosis
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