Assessment of the impact of retrocerebellar cysts in the brain on the cerebrospinal fluid system as a criterion of fitness for flight

Kolomiitsev VG1, Gornov SV2, Gornov VV3, Burova IV4, Eselevich RV5, Litvinenko EA6, Krupa RA6, Karpenko DV4
About authors

1 419th Military Hospital of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Krasnodar, Russia

2 Russian Biotechnological University (BIOTECH University), Moscow, Russia

3 State Research Testing Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine, Moscow, Russia

4 Kuban State Medical University, Krasnodar, Russia

5 Kirov Medical Military Academy of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

6 Regional Clinical Hospital № 2, Krasnodar, Russia

About paper

Author contribution: Gornov SV — contribution to research design, concept development, research procedure; Karpenko DV — manuscript writing; Gornov VV — data analysis and interpretation, critical revision of the manuscript draft; Kolomiitsev VG — manuscript writing, data acquisition, software development; Eselevich RV — final conclusions; Burova IV — study concept determination, manuscript draft writing, approval of the final version of the article, responsibility for integrity of all parts of the article; Litvinenko EA — methodology development; Krupa RA — manuscript formatting.

Compliance with the ethical standards: the study was compliant with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Received: 2024-02-05 Accepted: 2024-03-24 Published online: 2024-03-31

Retrocerebellar cysts of the brain represent the aspect that is important for determination of fitness for flight. The study was aimed to assess their impact on the pilot performance by conducting comparative analysis of MRI data of the first-year cadets and experienced pilots. We assessed the prevalence of retrocerebellar cysts among cadets and pilots, conducted non-contrast brain MRI, and compared the major academic and physical performance indicators, along with the results of professional psychological screen. The prevalence of retrocerebellar cysts among first-year cadets was 8.2%. High prevalence of asymptomatic retrocerebellar cysts among experienced pilots was revealed (two cases out of five). The intergroup comparison of indicators makes it possible to draw a conclusion about probable minor impact of such changes on fitness for flight. Further research is required to clarify the mechanisms underlying the impact of retrocerebellar cysts on the pilot performance and develop appropriate guidelines for medical boards.

Keywords: neuroimaging, military medical examination, cerebrospinal fluid system, cadets, pilots