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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

Hi Susan, my husband and I we went last Friday for an ultrasound and the doctor told us the same thing that they found a mark un our boy's brain we are so scary about it, they recommended a blood test to check our baby chromosomes, I have been praying every day for my baby's health and so anxious about the blood test results...just want to let you know that your story make me feel a little better, but I can't stop no to worry! Please pray for my baby as well thank you!

October 17, 2016 - 2:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Me too. I went to doctor on Wednesday and they told me the same. They took my blood and sent it in for testing. It's driving me crazy having to wait. All we can do is pray and hope for the best.

November 4, 2016 - 9:30pm
EmpowHER Guest


April 5, 2016 - 12:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you so much for sharing your story. My girlfriend and I are 22 weeks and got the same news a couple of weeks ago, ironically the same exact way. Dr reviewed the ultrasound on Fri and left my GF a voicemail (which is the worst thing to do to a 1st time pregnant woman). We finally talked to him come Monday and he assured it was normal but still very hard not to think about when 11:11 comes around 2 times a day. Your story makes me feel better and believe our Dr even more. Thank you and God bless

November 25, 2015 - 12:08am
EmpowHER Guest

This really did bring a little relief... I was pretty scared and went through and Amino just this afternoon.

But I know I will sleep better tonight after reading this : )

September 20, 2012 - 7:26pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Glad to hear it was helpful.  Take care. 


September 27, 2012 - 9:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

I just found out last week that my baby girl has one on her brain. After 3 miscarriages, and no living children, it was hard to hear. I was so nervous for my scan, that I didn't sleep the night before. Since my scan, I've had a lot of good days, but there are also days like today where all I've done is lay in bed and cry. My ob has told me hes not at all concerned, and the ultrasound tech said in her 13 years of working there, shes always seen them go away on their own, and the babies never have any issues. My follow up ultrasound is in 3 weeks. I promise to come back, and let you know how it goes. I found this article very calming, as well as the comments. I pray that no one ever has to feel how I've been feeling since my scan, and hope that I have good news to share for others in my position as well.

February 27, 2012 - 10:01am
(reply to Anonymous)

I would love to hear from you again.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your baby girl.  I know that it is near impossible to not worry but I hope that you can tuck away some of the fears away and enjoy your pregnancy.  Let me know how you are doing.  Susan

February 28, 2012 - 10:30pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Schade)

I just got back from the appointment... the cyst was completely gone, and she looked perfect Prayer, and faith in the fact that God will carry you trough is all you need. I went in today with the faith that it'd be gone, and it was :)
The tech said, "I bet you're so happy to hear that it's gone! I soo wish we never had to even tell you about it. In my 14 years of working here, they have ALWAYS gone away!"
Thank you for sharing your story, it really helped ease my mind until my appointment. Also thanks to all the ladies who left comments. It's such a relief to hear all of the positive stories!

March 19, 2012 - 8:20am
(reply to Anonymous)

I was so happy to hear your good news!  I agree, you can never under-estimate the power of prayer and faith.  Best wishes and lots of luck!  Susan

March 19, 2012 - 3:39pm
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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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