• intracranial arachnoid cysts;
  • dizziness;
  • postural balance;
  • vertigo


Arachnoid cysts (AC) are benign, congenital malformations of the leptomeninges, with a predilection for the temporal fossa. In our clinical experience, patients with temporal AC often complain of dizziness and imbalance. However, these symptoms and the effect of surgery on them have not been studied before.

Materials and methods

Dizziness and imbalance in patients with temporal AC were quantified before and after surgical cyst decompression, using the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Vertigo Symptom Scale – Short-Form (VSS-SF) and computerized dynamic posturography (CDP). The study includes 16 patients with temporal AC and 15 control subjects undergoing surgery for benign lesions of the larynx (n = 10) or the parotid glands (n = 5). All participants answered the DHI and VSS-SF and underwent CDP the day before and 3–6 months after surgery. The patients with AC also graded their dizziness through the use of a visual analogue scale (VAS).


Preoperatively, cyst patients scored higher than controls on subjective symptoms (DHI, VSS-SF A and VSS-SF V), but not on postural sway (CDP). Symptom scores decreased after surgery; the cyst patients improved significantly in the subjective tests (DHI, VAS and VSS-SF), while CDP scores did not. In the controls, symptom and CDP scores were unchanged after surgery.


Patients with temporal AC have a significant preoperative impairment and post-operative improvement in their subjective dizziness, but not in postural sway as measured by CDP.