Tarlov cysts: Clinical evaluation of an italian cohort of patients

D. Marino, M. A. Carluccio, I. Di Donato, F. Sicurelli, E. Chini, L. Di Toro Mammarella, F. Rossi, A. Rubegni, A. Federico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tarlov cyst syndrome is a rare, often asymptomatic disorder, characterised by isolated or multiple nerve-root cysts, usually occurring in the sacral spine, near the dorsal root ganglion, between the perineurium and endoneurium. The cysts may cause lower back pain, sacral radiculopathy, dyspareunia and urinary incontinence. There is little data in the literature on the relationship between Tarlov cysts and symptoms. Here, we report further details on the clinical impact of Tarlov cysts and investigate their pathogenesis and role as a cause of lumbosacral symptoms. We examined 157 patients with MRI evidence of symptomatic Tarlov cysts. Patients underwent complete neurological examination and were scored by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Visual Analogue Scale. Complete lower limb electromyography was performed in 32 patients. Clinical picture was correlated with size and number of cysts detected by MRI. Family history was recorded for signs of genetic inheritance. Almost all patients suffered perineal or lower back pain; 34 complained of sphincter and 46 of sexual disorders. Hamilton scores were abnormal, and family history was positive in a few cases. The scanty literature on Tarlov cysts mainly regards therapy by a neurosurgical approach. Our results provide new data on clinical impact and possible pathogenetic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1679-1682
Number of pages4
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • Chronic pain
  • Perineural cysts
  • Tarlov cysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Tarlov cysts: Clinical evaluation of an italian cohort of patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this