Adrenal gland
Other benign cortical lesions
Cysts

Author: Lan Gellert, M.D., Ph.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 2 October 2017, last major update August 2016

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Cysts [title] adrenal

Related topics: Endothelial (vascular) cyst, Hemorrhagic cyst (pseudocyst), Lymphangioma, Parasitic cyst

Cite this page: Gellert, L. Cysts. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/adrenalcysts.html. Accessed October 18th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Mostly incidental finding on imaging studies
  • Origin is endothelial (45%), pseudocyst (39%), epithelial (9%) or parasitic (7%) (Pathol Oncol Res 2005;11:242)
  • Most adrenal cysts are benign and nonfunctional
Essential features
  • Origin is endothelial (45%), pseudocysts (39%), epithelial (9%) or parasitic (7%)
  • Most adrenal cysts are benign and nonfunctional
  • Vascular cyst most common
Epidemiology
  • Incidence of 0.06% in surgical series and 0.18% at autopsy (Radiology 1996;201:541)
  • Commonly present in fourth or fifth decade
  • Mostly women
Clinical features
  • May produce mass or flank pain
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Giant endothelial lined adrenal cyst

Adrenal hydatid cyst

Adrenal bronchogenic cyst


Adrenal gland pseudocysts

Case reports
Treatment
  • Simple cyst enucleation
  • Adrenalectomy
Gross description
  • Up to 30 cm, usually unilateral with irregular thick fibrous wall and calcifications
  • Often yellow, residual adrenocortical tissue in cystic wall
Gross images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Hemorrhagic
pseudocyst -
contributed by
Debra Zynger, M.D.



Images hosted on other servers:

Adrenal gland pseudocyst

Adrenal hydatid cyst

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Variable depending on nature of cyst
  • Vascular cyst: cystic wall often lined by flattened endothelial cells
  • Pseudocyst: fibrous cystic wall with no endothelial or epithelial lining
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Vascular cyst - contributed by
Debra Zynger, M.D.



Images hosted on other servers:

Adrenal pseudocyst


Adrenal lymphangioma

Adrenal hydatid cyst

Adrenal bronchogenic cyst

Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
  • Cystic degeneration of adrenocortical neoplasm positive for inhibin and MelanA (Mod Pathol 1997;10:530)
  • Malignant neoplasm: 7% of all adrenal cystic lesions