The choroid plexus is a structure consisting of blood vessels and cells, covered by a thin membrane, that lines the brain’s ventricles. It produces the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that circulates through the brain and spine. Tumors that arise in the choroid plexus are very rare, may be low- or high-grade, and can spread to other areas of the brain and spine through circulating CSF. Choroid plexus tumors may develop at any time, but they are most common in infants. The prognosis is highly variable depending on the tumor’s individual characteristics.
There are several different types of choroid plexus tumors:
- Choroid plexus papillomas are low-grade tumors, classified as grade 1.
- Atypical choroid plexus papillomas are grade 2 and grow faster than choroid plexus papillomas, with a greater chance of recurrence after being surgically removed.
- Choroid plexus carcinomas are malignant, fast-growing (grade 3) tumors that spread easily
Individuals with a choroid plexus tumor often have hydrocephalus, which is an enlargement of the ventricles caused by abnormal buildup of CSF, causing increased pressure in the skull.
What Causes a Choroid Plexus Tumor?
The causes of a choroid plexus tumor are unknown, and there is no known means of prevention.
About Choroid Plexus Cysts
Up to 2 percent of healthy babies are born with cysts of the choroid plexus. These are almost always completely benign and resolve on their own. These are not tumors, and they are generally no cause for concern.
Our Care Team
- Vice Chairman, Neurological Surgery
- Director, Pediatric Neurological Surgery
- Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventional Neuroradiology
- Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
- Fellowship Director, Endovascular Neurosurgery
- Professor of Radiology in Neurological Surgery
Reviewed by: Mark Souweidane, M.D.
Last reviewed/last updated: June 2023