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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

EmpowHER Guest


Thank you again for your article and your words of advice. My mom was right, I did talk to my doctor today and was told that everything was normal and the cyst is nothing to worry about. I am feeling much better!


May 27, 2009 - 7:03pm

Susan...thank you for such a very informative article! The comment on the 26th at 6:21 pm was from my daughter who has been frantic since her ultrasound. I'm sure she is feeling much better after having read your experience. She hasn't commented back to you yet, I see...but...she did call her doctor today and he called back leaving a message saying that he had checked the readings himself and everything is FINE. I believe she'll sleep a lot better tonight. :)

May 27, 2009 - 6:49pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Susan,
Today morning I also went through the ultrasound and doctor in the hospital informed us our baby is having CPC. For me now everything is going upside down. I am reading and reading. Your article was supportive. I hope my baby will be ok and I will get to know that result very soon.
Pray for us.

Take Care

May 27, 2009 - 2:48pm
(reply to Anonymous)

You are in my prayers. Best of luck to you and your baby.

May 28, 2009 - 3:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Schade)

Thanks Susan

May 31, 2009 - 9:03pm

I would recommend calling your doctor to review the ultrasound and not waiting until your appointment next week. You will probably feel a big relief (like I did) once you talk to your doctor. I can tell how worried you sound and all I can say is, I felt the same. I was a little angry at the way it sounded like they talked to you in the appointment. It didn't sound like the nicest response to your question. Still, I do not think that they they would tell you that everything was fine if it was not. Talk to your doctor and try not to worry tonight. I hope for the best for you and your baby!

May 26, 2009 - 6:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Schade)

I just wanted to let you and everyone here know that I had my son 7 weeks ago and he is PERFECT! They did an ultrasound the day before he was born to measure his size and, while looking at his brain, we saw that the cyst was gone! Thanks again for your support! Your story helped me so much! I hope that hearing that my baby was fine helps calm others!

December 6, 2009 - 8:14pm
EmpowHER Guest

I went for my 18 week ultrasound today and was told repeatedly that everything was fine. The songrapher had a doctor come in at the end of the appointment to take a look. I was nervous because we had a really hard time getting a good picture of the heart due to the baby's position. In the end the doctor said the heart looked perfectly normal. However, when looking at the brain, I noticed the doctor pointing out something to the medical student. When the ultrasound was over I saw that he had written choroid plexus cyst on his screen. I asked again if everything was okay and he replied, "Yes, we really aren't in the habit of lying to anyone." I wasn't more persistant because I wasn't sure if he could, or would, tell me more. I am not scheduled to see my OB until next week. I am really worried! Did he not tell me because he is waiting for my regular doctor to look at the pictures? Why would he say everything is fine if, perhaps, it is not?

May 26, 2009 - 3:21pm

I agree. Talk to your doctor.
I wish for the best for you and your twins.

May 22, 2009 - 6:58am
EmpowHER Guest

I just had my 16 week U/S on my twins. Baby b (girl) was now seen with multiple CPC. I was pregnant with triplets and they had me reduce because I am 32 and the risks. They are now just telling me 5 ultrasounds later that baby b has CPC, they had be do a blood test and an amnio today only getting out 8cc... it was painful on top of being scared and upset.
What are the chances? Did they go to far doing an immediate amnio?? what are the chances of everything being ok?? how worried should I be??

May 21, 2009 - 5:47pm
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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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