Tarlov cysts, are type II innervated meningeal cysts, cerebrospinal-fluid-filled (CSF) sacs most frequently located in the spinal canal of the sacral region of the spinal cord (S1–S5) and much less often in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. They can be distinguished from other meningeal cysts by their nerve-fiber-filled walls. Tarlov cysts are defined as cysts formed within the nerve-root sheath at the dorsal root ganglion. The etiology of these cysts is not well understood; some current theories explaining this phenomenon have not yet been tested or challenged but include increased pressure in CSF, filling of congenital cysts with one-way valves, inflammation in response to trauma and disease.

Tarlov cysts are relatively uncommon when compared to other neurological cysts. Initially, Isadore Tarlov believed them to be asymptomatic, however as his research progressed, Tarlov found them to be symptomatic in a number of patients. These cysts are often detected incidentally during MRI or CT scans for other medical conditions. They are also observed using magnetic resonance neurography with communicating subarachnoid cysts of the spinal meninges. Cysts with diameters of 1 cm or larger are more likely to be symptomatic; although cysts of any size may be symptomatic dependent on location and etiology. Some 40% of patients with symptomatic Tarlov cysts can associate a history of trauma or childbirth. Current treatment options include CSF aspiration, fibrin-glue therapy, laminectomy with wrapping of the cyst, among other surgical treatment approaches. Interventional treatment of Tarlov cysts is the only means by which symptoms might permanently be resolved due to the fact that the cysts often refill after aspiration. Tarlov cysts often enlarge over time, especially if the sac has a check valve type opening. They are differentiated from other meningeal and arachnoid cysts because they are innervated and diagnosis can in cases be demonstrated with subarachnoid communication.

Tarlov perineural cysts have occasionally been observed in patients with Marfan syndrome, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, and Loeys–Dietz syndrome.



Walls of Tarlov cysts are thin and fibrous; they are prone to rupture if touched, making surgery difficult. The nerve fibers embedded in the walls of the cysts have the appearance and size of dental floss; these nerve fibers are usually not arranged in any specific alignment. Histologic examination reveals the Tarlov-cyst outer wall is composed of vascular connective tissue, and the inner wall is lined with flattened arachnoid tissue. In addition, part of the lining containing nerve fibers also occasionally contains ganglion cells. The cysts can contain anywhere from a couple of milliliters of CSF to over 2.5 litres (0.5 imp gal; 0.7 US gal) of CSF.


Tarlov cysts are most commonly located in the S1 to S4/S5 region of the spinal canal, but can be found along any region of the spine. They usually form on the extradural components of sacrococcygeal nerve roots at the junction of dorsal root ganglion and posterior nerve roots and arise between the endoneurium and perineurium. Occasionally, these cysts are observed in the lumbar and thoracic spine. However, these cysts most commonly arise at the S2 or S3 junction of the dorsal nerve root ganglion. The cysts are often multiple, extending around the circumference of the nerve, and can enlarge over time to compress neighboring nerve roots, to cause bone erosion. The cysts may be found anterior to the sacral area and have been known to extend into the abdominal cavity. These cysts, though rare, can be found to grow large - over 3–4 centimetres (1.2–1.6 in) in size, often causing severe abdominal pain from compression on the cyst itself as well as adjoining nerves.


Tarlov cysts are likely highly underdiagnosed as it was Isadore Tarlov's later research that led him to the understanding of their symptomology. Symptoms are based on the locations of the cysts along the spine, and follow general pathology of spinal injury:

  • Pain
  • Paresthesia
  • Spasticity, Hypertonia
  • Muscular Dysfunction or Weakness
  • Radiculopathy


Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When  is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy , but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient , considering mental and physical symptoms

Few homoeopathic medicine can be thought of in the management of Tarlov cysts are:

merc sol., nux vom., gelsemium, zinc met., arsenic alb., etc