Tarlov cysts

Tarlov cysts are dilatations of the dura and therefore contain cerebrospinal fluid. They are also called perineural cysts. Basically, these cysts can occur in any spinal section, but are most commonly found around the sacrum – usually as an accidental finding.


Depending on the location, the cysts can compress nerves and then cause radiculopathy. Symptoms could be, for example, pain in the legs, paralysis, paresthesia, bladder dysfunction, intestinal dysfunction and more. However, they can also be asymptomatic.


The cause is unclear.

Tarlov cysts are commonly found in patients with connective tissue disorders. It is assumed that the dura, which also consists of connective tissue, just as the remaining tissue, for example in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, “stretches” too easily and thus these dilatations occur.



Clinical examination

Electro physiological tests



Infiltration with local anesthesia, cortisone or fibrin

Surgical removal


HENDERSON, Fraser C., et al. Neurological and spinal manifestations of the Ehlers–Danlos syndromes. In: American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics. 2017. S. 195-211.