European Radiology

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 332–336 | Cite as

Synovial cysts of the lumbar spine: CT and MRI correlations

  • P. Reginster
  • J. Collignon
  • R. F. Dondelinger


Intraspinal synovial cysts were diagnosed in six patients during a 5-year period and retrospectively studied. Plain films of the lumbar spine showed degenerative changes in all patients. Lumbar myelography showed a posterior and lateral defect caused by extradural compression. Using CT without constrast enhancement established the diagnosis in five of the six-patients. in four cases MRI was performed, three before and after injection of gadolinium diethyline-triamine penta-acetic acid )Gd-DTPA). Including the patient with a false negative CT, MRI was positive in all patients.

Key words

Spine Synovial cysts CT MRI Gadolinium 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sellier N, Vallee C, Chevrot A (1987) La sciatique par kystes synoviaux et diverticules articulaires lombaires à développement intrarachidien. Rev Rhum 54:297–301Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hemminghyt S, Daniels DL, Williams L et al. (1982) Intraspinal synovial cysts: natural history and diagnosis by CT. Radiology 145:375–376Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reust P, Wendling D, Lagier R (1988) Degenerative spondylolisthesis, synovial cysts of the zygapophyseal joints, and sciatic syndrome: report of two cases and review of the literature. Arthritis Rheum 31: 288–294Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Linquist R, McDonell DE (1970) Rheumatoid cyst causing extradural compression. J Bone Joint Surg 52: 1235–1240Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schulz EE, West WL, Hinshaw DB et al. (1984) Gas in a lumbar extradural juxta-articular cyst: sign of synovial origin. AJNR 148:875–876Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Silbergleit R, Gebarski SS, Brunberg JA et al. (1990) Lumbar synovial cysts: correlation of myelographic, CT, MR, and pathologic findings. AJNR 11: 777–779Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jackson DE, Atlas SW, Mani JR et al. (1989) Intraspinal and synovial cysts: MR imaging. Radiology 170: 527–530Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Granat O, Jeanbourquin D, Perpettin CL (1987) Kyste synovial articulaire interapophysaire du rachis lombaire. Confrontation tomodensitométrique et imagerie par résonance magnétique. J Radiol 68: 387–390Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schelfaut P, Van Hosbeeck B, Mortelmans L (1989) Synovial cyst of the lumbar spine. JBR 72: 373–376Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Awwad EE, Sundaram M, Bucholz RD (1989) Post-traumatic spinal synovial cyst with spondylolysis: CT features. J Comput Assist Tomogr 13: 334–337Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Liu SS, Williams KD, Drayer BP et al. (1989) Synovial cysts of the lumbosacral spine: diagnosis by MR imaging. AJNR 10: 1232–1242Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Munz M, Tampieri D, Robitaille Y et al. (1990) Spinal synovial cyst: case report using MRI. Surg Neurol 34:431–434Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Awwad EE, Martin DS, Smith KR et al. (1990) MR imaging of lumbar juxta-articular cysts. J Comput Assist Tomogr 14: 414–417Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Maupin WB, Naul LG, Kanter SL et al (1989) Synovial cyst presenting as a neural foraminal lesion: MR and CTappearance. AJR 153:1231–1232Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tobback IC, Parizel PM, Milants W et al. (1992) Gas-filled intraspinal synovial cyst. ROFO 156: 300–301Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Summers RM, Quint DJ (1992) Hemorrhagic synovial cyst arising from right L2/3 facet joint. Skeletal Radiol 21: 72–75Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Reginster
    • 1
  • J. Collignon
    • 1
  • R. F. Dondelinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingUniversity Hospital Sart Tilman B 35LiègeBelgium

Personalised recommendations