Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 158, Issue 4, pp 663–669 | Cite as

Clinical management of pineal cysts: a worldwide online survey

  • Martin MájovskýEmail author
  • David Netuka
  • Vladimír Beneš
Clinical Article - Brain Tumors



A pineal cyst is a benign affection of a pineal gland on the borderline between a pathological lesion and a variant of normality. Clinical management of patients with a pineal cyst remains controversial, especially when patients present with non-specific symptoms.


An online questionnaire consisting of 13 questions was completed by 110 neurosurgeons worldwide. Responses were entered into a database and subsequently analysed.


Based on data from the questionnaire, the main indication criteria for pineal cyst resection are hydrocephalus (90 % of the respondents), Parinaud’s syndrome (80 %) and growth of the cyst (68 %). Only 15 % of the respondents occasionally operate on patients with non-specific symptoms. If surgery is indicated, improvement is expected in 88 % of the patients. The vast majority of the respondents favour a supracerebellar infratentorial approach to the pineal region. Most (78 %) of the respondents regarded the patient registry as a potentially useful instrument.


This survey sheds light on the current practice of pineal cyst management across the world. Most of the respondents perform surgery on pineal cysts only if patients are presenting with symptoms attributable to a mass effect. Surgery for patients with non-specific complaints (headache, vertigo) is not widely accepted, although it may prove effective. A prospective patient registry might be useful in the decision-making process in the clinical management of pineal cysts.


Pineal gland Pineal cyst Neurosurgery Headache Management 



The Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic provided financial support in the form of grant funding (grant no.: MO 1012NK). The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organisation or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study by submitting the online questionnaire.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Májovský
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Netuka
    • 1
  • Vladimír Beneš
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery of 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles UniversityMilitary University Hospital PraguePragueCzech Republic

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