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World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct 14;20(38):13899-903. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i38.13899.

Epithelial cysts of the spleen: a minireview.

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Sachin B Ingle, Swapna Patrike, Department of Pathology, MIMSR Medical College, Latur, Maharashtra 4132512, India.


Primary splenic epithelial cyst is an unusual event in everyday surgical practice with about 800 cases reported until date in the English literature. Splenic cysts may be parasitic or non-parasitic in origin. Nonparasitic cysts are either primary or secondary. Primary cysts are also called true, congenital, epidermoid or epithelial cysts. Primary splenic cysts account for 10% of all benign non-parasitic splenic cysts and are the most frequent type of splenic cysts in children. Usually, splenic cysts are asymptomatic and can be found incidentally during imaging techniques or on laparotomy. The symptoms are related to the size of cysts. When they assume large sizes, they may present with fullness in the left abdomen, local or referred pain, symptoms due to compression of adjacent structures (like nausea, vomiting, flatulence, diarrhoea) or rarely thrombocytopenia, and occasionally complications such as infection, rupture and/or haemorrhage. The preoperative diagnosis of primary splenic cysts can be ascertained by ultrasonography (USG), computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, although the wide use of USG today has led to an increase in the incidence of splenic cysts by 1%. However, careful histopathological evaluation along with immunostaining for presence of epithelial lining is mandatory to arrive at the diagnosis. The treatment has changed drastically from total splenectomy in the past to splenic preservation methods recently.


Diagnosis; Epithelial cyst; Laporoscopy; Spleen; Splenectomy

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