Cysts are closed sac-like or capsule structures that may be filled with semisolid material, gaseous material, or liquid.

There are several causes of cysts, including genetic, infectious, and other causes that result in hundreds of types of cysts.

We will only focus on liver and renal cysts.

Liver cysts (also called hepatic cysts) are fluid-filled sacs that occur in the liver. Sacs of fluid formed in the kidneys are called renal cysts.

Liver cysts are usually asymptomatic and often discovered by chance during an abdominal imaging procedure, like computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

When cysts become enlarged, they can rupture or push against other organs, causing bloating, a feeling of fullness, and a sudden pain in the upper right abdominal region. Parasitic cysts (echinococcosis) may also cause fever, bloody sputum, and severe skin itching. The type of echinococcosis caused by E. multilocularis (called alveolar echinococcosis) can cause symptoms similar to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Renal cysts are fairly common in older people and usually do not cause symptoms.

In rare cases, renal cysts may require treatment due to infection, bleeding, or enlargement. When such renal cyst complications occur, symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Pain or tenderness between the ribs and pelvis
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Changes in urinary habits
  • Blood in the urine (Hematuria)

Most liver cysts do not need to be treated. However, if cysts get large and painful, they may need to be drained, surgically removed, or ablated (ethanol or radiofrequency)

If a parasite is found, antibiotics are used for treatment.

Same treatment modalities are being used for renal cysts.


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