Facebook Pixel

Choroid Plexus Cysts and My Scary Ultrasound

Rate This

It was a big day. I was pregnant with our first baby and we had an ultrasound appointment scheduled in the afternoon. Today was the day that we would (hopefully) find out if we were having a boy or girl.

We had a late Friday afternoon appointment, something that I had scheduled purposely so my husband and I could celebrate with dinner and then go home. Once in the ultrasound room, we were so excited. We held hands as we watched our unborn baby on the monitor. As our baby moved, it seemed unbelievable how developed the tiny features were. It wasn’t always easy to tell what I was looking at but our technician was explaining what we were seeing on the screen.

When she got to the head, she began the measurements and then matter-of-factly said, “There are choroid plexus cysts in your baby’s brain.” That was the moment that I felt like my breathing stopped. “Cysts in your baby’s brain” was all that I heard. “What does that mean?” We both asked at the same time. “I can only give you the information,” was her answer. She mentioned that there were some conditions where choroid plexus cysts are present in an ultrasound (like Trisomy 18) but she suggested that we contact my doctor for questions. But it was Friday evening and the doctor’s office would not be open until Monday.

We went to dinner as planned, but my husband and I were mostly quiet as we ate our food. Not quite the celebration that we had planned on. We were both anxious to get home and get online to research what we were told. We found quickly that having the access to so much information was more harmful to us than helpful. We were searching and finding all kinds of heart wrenching information on Trisomy 18 and other conditions. I cried a lot that night and during the rest of the weekend, unsure of what this meant for our baby and our family.

And we told no one. We hid our frightening news from the excited friends and family that called to ask about the ultrasound results. Monday morning could not come soon enough. I called my doctor around 5:30 when I awoke and left a message. It was normal for his nurse to return my call when I left messages so I wondered the entire drive into work, when would I finally get to talk to her? I had just arrived to my office when my phone rang and my doctor was on the other end. Immediately I thought, this MUST be bad. Why else would HE call me back?

The answer that he gave me was a huge relief. He explained that the choroid plexus cysts in our baby were isolated and nothing that we needed to worry about. He had my ultrasound with him and saw nothing else that would indicate any abnormality. He reassured me that even his daughter had them present in an ultrasound and his wife was also very upset but he explained to her, just like he was now explaining to me, that they were nothing to worry about.

Here is a helpful explanation of choroid plexus cysts written by Jillian Lokere and found at www.babyzone.com.

“The choroid plexus is an area of the brain that is not involved thinking or personality. Rather, the choroid plexus makes a fluid that protects and nourishes the brain and spinal cord. When a fluid-filled space is seen in the choroid plexus during an ultrasound, it is called a choroid plexus cyst (CPC). "We don't know why, but between 1 and 3 percent of all fetuses will manifest a CPC at 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy," says Dr. Roy A. Filly, a Professor of Radiology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Chief of the Section of Diagnostic Sonography at University of California, San Francisco. CPCs can be found either on one side of the brain (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral). They can vary in size and shape, from small and round to large and irregular. Some fetuses have more than one. Dr. Peter Doubilet, a Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, adds, "That's one very important fact. CPCs are not harmful, and they nearly always go away by the third trimester of pregnancy."

My doctor told me that he would order another, late term ultrasound to give us the peace of mind that they were gone.

He was right. In the ultrasound that followed our scary ultrasound, there were no longer choroid plexus cysts present in our baby’s brain. I share this story now because it has already helped couples, just like us that were panicking after their ultrasound. I also encourage pregnant women to schedule ultrasounds for times that they know that their doctor will be available for questions. In both my following pregnancies, I never scheduled another Friday afternoon ultrasound appointment.

I hope that by sharing this story, other parents will not have to go through the worry that we did over that long weekend. I am happy to say that our baby BOY was born healthy and perfect. It has now been 6 years and our son is still a healthy, growing, learning and perfectly normal kid. There is also much more information available online than there was when we needed it. Share this information. It only helps others.

Add a Comment51 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

We are expecting our third baby in June... a girl after having two boys! We are overjoyed, but that joy was clouded a bit when the ultrasound tech told us about two choroid plexus cysts on our daughter's brain. The did extensive measurements of everything else & brought in the dr. on staff that day in the Maternal Fetal Medicine office. (I'm 34, turning 35 in May which makes me "advanced maternal age") The dr. told us our daughter looked beautiful & there was little else she felt we needed to do. She said we had "no reason to worry". But you do worry. You worry until you get to see for yourself that these do in fact go away.

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm worried today, but reading your post really gave me some perspective.

January 31, 2012 - 11:51am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you so much for this post. I had a routine 18 week ultrasound done and my OB told me everything looked fine. I switched doctors at 23 weeks because I just did not mesh well with my OB's personality and approach to patient care. Just last week my new doctor said it was time to schedule a follow-up ultrasound to make sure "the choroid plexus cysts were gone". This was new news to my husband and I and it was everything I could do not to go into hysterics in the office. I am 30 weeks along and I have my repeat ultrasound this week. I am sure everything will be fine but I am still nervous. Your post made me feel more at ease, so thank you.

May 17, 2011 - 11:35am
(reply to Anonymous)

Best of luck this week. I am glad it was helpful.

May 17, 2011 - 3:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

After finding out about a CPC at my 20 week ultrasound, I just wanted to let you know that my daughter is now almost 1 year old and is perfect. I hope others can get through it and know that things are generally just fine! :-)

September 8, 2010 - 1:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for posting this! I just turned 33 and I am due Dec. 31, 2010 and was told the same thing. The neonatologist was there and was able to tell us that there were no other signs indicating a problem but my baby has CPC. I was really scared. The OB said she was sure it would go away since everything else was normal. Well as soon as I got home I went searching online trying to inform myself about it.. I am hoping it will go away....

Thank you so much for you story. It helps a lot. You are such a wonderful person.

September 8, 2010 - 11:52am
(reply to Anonymous)

I am glad that you found my article, our website, and some relief in reading my story. I will say a prayer for your baby. Take good care.

September 8, 2010 - 12:38pm

My Dr have also told me this she says its very tiny and I shouldn't worry about it but wants to schedule a genetic counseling as well but Im here extremely nervous everything else was normal but I D K wat to think but this story has eased my mind tones thank u ! pray for my lil girl!

April 10, 2010 - 1:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

Just wanted to post again that my beautiful baby girl was born on 10/4/09 and is now a 100% healthy and happy 9 week old after we were told about the Choroid Plexus Cysts at our 20 week ultrasound. So please, if this happens to you, don't fret! :-)

December 8, 2009 - 8:16am
(reply to Anonymous)

Congratulations on your baby and thanks for the update. I think comments like yours can really help other people.

December 22, 2009 - 7:55am
EmpowHER Guest

At my 20-week ultrasound, the technician told my husband and me that everything looked fine so I was floored when the doctor came into the exam room a few minutes later, scanned the results and told me they had detected one, maybe two, choroid plexus cysts in the baby's brain. I didn't even know what to ask the doctor since I had never heard about CPCs before but I remember her saying "down syndrome" and "trisomy 18" so I left her office terrified. Over the next three weeks, my husband and I scoured the internet for any information we could find on CPCs (even though we were told NOT to do that since it would only scare us further). Finally, we went for a level II ultrasound with a fetal medicine specialist and thankfully, both the technician and doctor confirmed that there were no longer any cysts on the baby's brain. Come to find out, CPCs are fairly common occurrences and in most cases, they disappear on their own and are not indicators of genetic abnormalities.

November 20, 2009 - 7:50pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!