2 doctors weighed in:

Can doctors tell the difference between tarlov cysts and cancerous tumours on spinal mri? Do they look different if so how?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

The most reliable way to differentiate the two is with intravenous contrast.
Malignant tumors almost always enhance, tarlov cysts don't. Usually the appearance and location of tarlov cysts are highly suggestive even without contrast.

In brief: Yes

The most reliable way to differentiate the two is with intravenous contrast.
Malignant tumors almost always enhance, tarlov cysts don't. Usually the appearance and location of tarlov cysts are highly suggestive even without contrast.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Dr. Michael Gabor
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Michael Gabor
Per your follow up question, the tarlov cyst would not cause tachycardia. In the vast majority of cases, they are incidental findings and do not cause symptoms. There is rarely any treatment necessary.
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Eric Weisman
Board Certified, Neurology
33 years in practice
9M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors