Are Simple Kidney Cysts a Serious Health Threat?

A kidney is an organ that is responsible for processing blood and filtering urine.. It flushes out extra fluid and waste products from the body. The urine is transferred from the kidney to the bladder. The bladder stores it until it is released through urination.

Renal cortical cysts

Cortical cysts are simple kidney cysts that form in or on the kidneys. These cysts are fluid-filled sacs or rounds pouches on the kidneys. Commonly these kidney cysts do not pose any serious threat to health. Simple kidney cysts are noncancerous cysts that do not usually cause any health complications.

There might form more than one simple kidney cyst on the surface of the kidney. Simple kidney cysts are different from polycystic kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder. The normal structure or size of the kidney is not disturbed by simple kidney cysts. They also do not impair the kidney function of a person. These cysts are small fluid sacs with thin walls.

Simple kidney cysts or renal cortical cysts become more common with age. Approximately 50 percent of people who were above 50 years had simple kidney cysts.

Causes of simple kidney cysts

The reason why these kidney cysts form is unknown. The factors that may contribute to the problem might include obstruction of small structures in the kidney that collect urine called tubules.

Another factor might be the decreased blood supply to the kidneys, or there might be some sacs that form on the tubules called diverticula. Diverticula may separate from the tubules and become simple kidney cysts. There is no study on whether any genetic factor causes renal cysts or not.

Symptoms of simple kidney cysts

Renal cortical cysts normally do not change the structure or enlarge the kidneys. They do not pose any threat to the kidney and also does not cause any change in renal function. Simple kidney cysts are detected through an imaging test usually when performed for any other condition as these cysts do not any signs or symptoms so it is impossible for the person having them to know.

There are usually no symptoms associated with kidney cysts but sometimes people with renal cortical cysts might experience pain in their lower abdomen, more specifically between their rib cage and hips. This pain might occur due to the enlarged cyst which presses other organs in the body. If these otherwise harmless cysts become infected then the infection might cause fever, tenderness, and pain.

The person might feel a dull pain in the back or side area, or in the upper abdominal area. If a kidney cysts bursts, it causes severe pain in the back and the respective side of the body. The cyst can also become an obstruction in the flow of urine which may lead to hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney).

Diagnosis of simple kidney cysts

Usually, as simple kidney cysts do not show any signs or symptoms they go unnoticed. These are detected if a person goes for imaging tests for other health conditions. When a cyst is detected on or in the kidney, more tests are done to determine whether the cyst is simple kidney cyst or polycystic disorder or any other condition which might be more severe.

Treatment of simple kidney cysts

If a simple kidney cyst is found it does not require any extensive treatment. They are mostly monitored regularly through ultrasounds to check the size of the cysts. If these cysts obstruct blood flow or urine flow they are treated by puncturing the cysts through a large long needle, a procedure called sclerotherapy.

Michelle M

Conducting research in a laboratory can often feel isolated so Lisa prefers writing about scientific research in healthcare. She contributes stories about the latest research in all fields related to health. Email: lisa@askhealthnews.com

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