What Is a Spleen Cyst?


Quick Answer

A splenic cyst is a liquid-filled sac found on the spleen, reports the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery. They are extremely rare, and often blunt trauma to the abdomen causes them.

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Historically, there were only 800 reported cases of splenic cysts as of 2009. They are classified as Type I or type II, according to the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery. Type I cysts contain a cellular lining, while type II cysts do not contain a cellular lining. Type II are the most common type of spleen cysts.

Cysts are either parasitic or are nonparasitic, advises the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery. Parasitic cysts mainly occur in Central America and Africa, while nonparasitic cysts occur more often in North America and Europe. Nonparasitic Type I cysts are either congenital or neoplastic.

The most common symptoms include upper abdomen pain, nausea and vomiting, states the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery. Thirty to 60 percent of splenic cyst patients do not exhibit any symptoms at all. Cysts with a larger diameter are more likely to rupture. Traditionally, treatment for splenic cysts involved removing the spleen; however, the spleen contains some immune system benefits, so doctors take other treatment options into consideration depending on the severity of the cyst. They prefer to avoid splenectomy whenever possible.

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