Choroid Plexus

Choroid Plexus Definition

Choroid plexus is basically a branching network of nerves and vessels which is responsible for producing cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles. It is formed mainly by some advanced ependymal cells.

Where is it located?

Our body has all total four clusters of choroid plexus in the brain. Each one is present in each of the ventricles. In the superior part of the inferior horn of the lateral ventricles in the brain, choroid plexus is found. It continues in the upward direction, along the inferior portion of the body of the lateral ventricles. Also the fourth ventricle, there is existence of choroid plexus.

Choroid Plexus Location

Function of choroid plexus

Its major participation is in controlling the internal environment of the brain by producing the blood cerebrospinal fluid. Besides it also acts as a filtration system by various metabolic waste items, any foreign substances or eliminates any presence excess neurotransmitters from the CSF. Thus, it acts as a significant aid in functioning of the brain optically. The function of choroid plexus as an important barrier i.e. blood cerebrospinal fluid barrier is to keep the cerebral and peripheral blood separate from the cerebrospinal fluid. The barrier mainly consists of the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus.

Choroid Plexus Pictures

Image of Choroid Plexus

Picture of Choroid Plexus

Diseases related to choroid plexus

The one which plays a vital role in regulating the internal environment of brain can itself be responsible for several diseases in the brain. Some of which are as follows:

  • Choroid plexus cysts.
  • Choroid plexus carcinoma.
  • Choroid plexus papilloma.

Choroid plexus cysts

These are cysts that form within the choroid plexus of the brain. This is generally caused by the intermittent accumulation of the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Such a condition mainly occurs due to a block in the foramina inside the ventricular drainage system of body’s central nervous system. This can further lead to expansion of the ventricles, compression in the brain which enables the brain to hold cerebrospinal fluid in irregular amount, i.e. more than which is necessary.

Choroid Plexus Cysts

Level of risk

Although it may sound highly fatal, it hardly is. These are harmless cysts and can be caused by chromosomal disorders. Sometimes, as its extent of complication may cause – people survive choroid plexus cysts with traits of mental retardation. Other consequences include some forms of physical deformity. There is almost least chances of any further life threatening complications.

Choroid plexus carcinoma

A condition where a tumor is formed within the choroid plexus of brain is referred to as choroid plexus carcinoma. In this disease, lesions form in the brain which accelerates the rate of production of cerebrospinal fluid and as a result of which the excess fluid gets accumulated inside the brain. As a result of which the pressure inside the skull is increased. Compared to the other two types of disease, this is the one which is both rare and life threatening.

Level of risk

Children under the age of five are more prone to such a condition due to the less strengthening of the body’s immune system. So go visit the doctor as soon as possible if you can see any kind of symptoms.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms generally do not vary from other symptoms related to causing brain tumors, which are as follows:

  • Headache for a long period of time or sudden unbearable headache without any probable cause.
  • In infants, the head is grown unusually large.
  • Loss of appetite in children.
  • Papilledema.
  • Nauseated tendencies.
  • Delay in developing certain mental condition.
  • Mental retardation.

Treatment

The procedure for treating this form is carcinoma majorly depends on the location as well as the severity of it. Basic treatment plans include radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor. Best results are achieved when there is total resection of the tumor along with chemotherapy or radiotherapy is done. However, any of these processes take a high toll on the patient’s body due to which children often cannot survive such pressure.

Choroid plexus papilloma

This is almost similar to choroid plexus carcinoma, only its severity is comparatively less. The cerebrospinal fluid production is increased to a relatively high level and thus the fluid gets accumulated in the brain which leads to pressure inside the skull. In children, such disorder is formed in the lateral ventricles while in adults it is mostly formed in the fourth ventricles of the brain.

Choroid Plexus Papilloma

Level of risk

Very rare form of tumor, it affects children mainly under age 5.2 years. These are tumors take time to develop and grow. They generally do not spread outside the brain. But the most weird complication associated with it is that – after its treatment it is likely to occur again with increased level of growth.

Causes

There are no such notable causes which may be ignored in order to be prevented against such a rare condition. However, some of the general causes are – genetic disorder, rare changes in the gene, immune system of the body, certain environmental irregularities.

Symptoms

  • Normal headache.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness and instability of the body.
  • Problems related to eyes.
  • Difficulty in walking straight.
  • Seizures.

Diagnosis

If any one or more of the symptoms is seen in someone, he/she should at once visit a neurologist. For further confirmation of the disorder and ruling out of other possibilities, a neuro-oncologist or neurosurgeon may be consulted. The diagnosis is generally done through a three step method.

  • CT scan of your body or specifically the brain may be done.
  • MRI scans of the brain to get detailed information about the level and spread of the tumor.
  • Biopsy, where pieces of tissues of the brain may be taken out for proper research under microscope.

Treatment

The main and primary treatment that is suggested by most of the doctors is surgery. If there are any chances of further complication, then the doctor might suggest chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In some cases, the chemotherapy or radiotherapy is continued even after manually removing the tumor from the brain for proper healing and reducing the chances of its reoccurrence. Even after the surgery, regular check up must be followed to avoid complications.

Medical References:

https://www.saintlukeshealthsystem.org/health-library/choroid-plexus-papilloma

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choroid_plexus_carcinoma

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996116302030

Last modified on July 26th, 2017 at 8:52 am

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