CNS tumor


Pineal cyst

Topic Completed: 1 February 2012

Minor changes: 22 February 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: "Pineal cyst"

Eman Abdelzaher, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2020: 550
Page views in 2021 to date: 524
Cite this page: Abdelzaher E. Pineal cyst. website. Accessed December 7th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Glial cyst within the pineal gland
  • Present in 2 - 3% of adults
  • May resemble a cystic tumor
  • Usually incidental finding, affect all age groups
  • Minority of cases, usually in young adults, are large enough to compress aqueduct and cause symptoms
  • Fine needle aspiration may provide rapid diagnosis (Cancer 2005;105:80)
Radiology description
  • Midline, well circumscribed, 1 - 3 cm
Case reports
Gross description
  • Smooth external surface and inner lining
Gross images

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Pineal cyst

Microscopic (histologic) description
Three layered cyst:
  • Inner lining is glial tissue which is hypocellular, highly fibrillated with many Rosenthal fibers; hemosiderin is common
  • Glial layer is surrounded by compressed, often calcified, pineal parenchyma
  • Outer layer is leptomeningeal connective tissue (Ann Diagn Path 1997;1:11)
Cytology description
  • Small, uniform polygonal cells
Differential diagnosis
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