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Choroid Plexus Cysts and My Scary Ultrasound

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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

(reply to Anonymous)


I'm so sorry you had to go through such pain and anxiety, but the outcome for you was wonderful. Thank you so much for writing. Your experience will definitely help others struggling through the same thing.

December 8, 2009 - 8:14am
EmpowHER Guest

oooh my god I facing the same problem now and when my husband told me I felt that Iam going to die and then every thing beautifull in my mind about the baby disappear but what I have to do , this is my baby and I will help him or ever if he will face any problems ... I hope my end of my story will be like urs .

October 26, 2009 - 9:04pm
EmpowHER Guest

I found out 3 days ago that our baby has bilateral cysts and ever since then I have been in floods of tears and can't sleep. I have searched the net to find info on this and all it has done is worry me further despite there being lots of information saying that these cysts usually end in a positive outcome. I am going this afternoon for a repeat ultrasound so they can check the heart. I am 32 and this is my second pregnancy. It is such a worrying time but I found this website very reassuring and I hope that everything works out fine for everyone.

August 28, 2009 - 3:53am
(reply to Anonymous)


It has been several weeks since you posted. Can you update us?

December 8, 2009 - 8:13am
EmpowHER Guest

The same thing happened with us. I got pregnant extremely fast after our first one was born. He was a premie. Due to my age at the time I was consiered "old" at 35. The high risk OBGYN let us know about the CPC he also stated it "was" and only an indicater of trisomy 18. He advised us to have an amnio. My husband and I both said that was out of the question due to the high risk of mis carriage. Our Obgyn then went over the ultra sound and found nothing else present but also said it was early to rule anything out. We were advised if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy quickly if thats what we decided to do because if the baby did have trisomy 18 he wouldn't make it. Well four years later our son did not have trisomy 18 and that because of the earliness of our ultra sound the cpc showed on the scan. We paid for an additional ultra sound out of pocket because the insurance company would not pay due to the fact we negated an amnio. Our monster is healthy and is annoying his big brother daily.

August 11, 2009 - 7:13am
EmpowHER Guest

Wanted to comment on the cysts. My wife and I found out at 20 weeks that our baby had cysts, one on the left and a cluster on the right. My wife was also diagnosed with Placenta Preivia (sp?) When we discussed this with our midwife, she explained she was more worried about the placenta than the cysts. I did some research on the web, looked at alot of message boards and found that many expectant parents were saying the same thing, "Dont worry, it will probably go away". Today we had our 26 week ultrasound and am happy to report they have indeed gone and the baby is perfectly normal and growing well. One thing I would recommend to all who go through this, DONT DO NOTHING. We talked to a genetic counsler ( Free in Canada), and found out all the facts. We also did the screening and found out we were negative for many things. This screening combined with the latest ultrasound confirms that our chance of downe or trisomy 18 is about 1/454. The OB said in all the years he has done this, he has never seen a case of genetic mutation when the risk is this low. We are expecting in late october!!

July 17, 2009 - 6:32pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I'm happy to hear that you were so proactive and I hope your little one arrives happy and healthy.

July 17, 2009 - 6:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hello I posted back on April 30th, and I just went for my 30week sono yesterday and the CPC was gone..
Take care everyone, enjoy your pregnancy..


July 16, 2009 - 5:44am
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you so much for your update! I am glad to hear about it. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy and new baby! Take care. Susan

July 16, 2009 - 8:42am

I am so glad to hear it. Thank you for writing again to give me an update and to offer hope to other women that come across this article. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

May 28, 2009 - 3:44pm
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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.


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