Definitions

cyst

cyst

[sist]
cyst, abnormal sac in the body, filled with a fluid or semisolid and enclosed in a membrane. Cysts can be congenital but are usually acquired, the most common locations being the skin and the ovaries. Sebaceous cysts of the skin, known as blackheads or whiteheads, occur when dirt or other material blocks the oil glands of the skin, preventing secretions from escaping. Retention cysts develop in glandular organs when ducts are blocked, commonly in kidney tubules, mammary glands, and sweat glands. Most cysts can be aspirated for treatment and/or cytology (diagnostic purposes); often cysts require surgical removal.

A cyst is a closed sac having a distinct membrane and division on the nearby tissue. It may contain air, fluids, or semi-solid material. A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, the cyst could go away by itself or will have to be removed using surgery.

Locations

Cystic fibrosis

Despite being described in 1938 as involving the microscopic appearance of cysts in the pancreas cystic fibrosis is an example of a genetic disorder whose name is related to fibrosis of the cystic duct and does not involve actual cysts.

Benign vs malignant

Many cysts in the body are benign (functional), the result of plugged ducts or other natural body outlets for secretions. However, a few are tumors or are produced within tumors, and are potentially malignant:

Related structures

A pseudocyst is collection without a distinct membrane.

A syrinx in the spinal cord or brainstem is sometimes inaccurately referred to as a cyst.

References

External links

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