Epidermoid Cyst

            Epidermoid cysts are referred to as "pearly tumors" because of their glistening white appearance at surgery. They arise from epithelial cell rests in the basal cisterns. They are benign and grow slowly along the subarachnoid spaces and into the various crevices found at the base of the brain.  Intradural epidermoids are usually quite large with lobulated outer margins and an insinuating pattern of growth. They have a heterogeneous texture and variable signal intensity on MR. Endnote Most are slightly higher signal than CSF on both T1 and T2-weighted images. An occasional epidermoid has a very short T1 and appears bright on T1-weighted images. The heterogeneous signal pattern is likely related to varying concentrations of keratin, cholesterol, and water within the cyst, as well as the proportion of cholesterol and keratin in crystalline form. Calcification is sometimes present. Epidermoid tumors do not enhance with contrast.  

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