Colloid Cysts

Colloid cysts
Colloid cysts

What is a colloid cyst?

Benign, slow growing tumour composed of a thin sac containing a thick mucinous liquid.

What causes colloid cysts?

At present there is no known cause for this tumour.

Where do colloid cysts occur?

They are found within a fluid cavity in the brain called the IIIrd ventricle.

How do colloid cysts affect your health? What symptoms do they cause?

Because of their location, they most often present with symptoms relating to obstruction of the fluid pathway and accumulation of brain fluid (hydrocephalus).
Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Short term memory loss
  • Drop attacks (sudden brief loss of consciousness)
  • Sudden death

Occasionally these tumours are picked up incidentally with no obvious symptoms.

What happens after I am diagnosed with a colloid cyst?

Please see patient journey after diagnosis of a brain tumour

What is the current recommended treatment for colloid cysts?

How is surgery done for colloid cysts?

Open surgery

  • Interhemispheric, transcallosal approach
  • Trans frontal


For details on these procedures please discuss with your surgeon.

How quickly do these grow?

Colloid cysts are very slow growing tumours

What if I don’t have surgery?

Not all colloid cysts need to be operated on. If they are picked up when they are small, they can be observed with regular MRI scans

Large ones causing symptoms, are life threatening and so must be operated on as soon as possible.

What other treatments are available?

The best treatment is surgery to remove the entire tumour. This is almost always possible.

Occasionally there might be a need to do something more minimal such as

  1. Insertion of ventriculo peritoneal shunt
  2. Stereotactic aspiration of cyst

Both of the above still involve surgery.

This tumour is not responsive to radiation or any drug therapy.

Other Brain Tumours

  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons: RACS
  • Neurosurgical Society of Australasia
  • Australian Medical Association
  • Cancer Institute NSW
  • Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO)
  • Australia and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group (ANZMTG)
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology
  • Sydney Catalyst
  • National Biobanking Consortium for Brain Cancer (NBCBC)
  • Melanoma Institute Australia
  • The University of Sydney
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
  • Mater Hospital - Sydney