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Kidney cyst: causes and treatment, symptoms of cysts

Kidney cyst - what is this?

A kidney cyst is a common pathological condition that is most often diagnosed at the age of 40-50 years and older. According to statistics, the prevalence of the disease is 65-70% of all tumors that affect the renal parenchyma.

Cyst of the kidney in women is less common than in men, due to the protective effect of estrogen and low levels of androgens. However, in menopause, the ratio of sick men and women is leveled.

A kidney cyst is an abnormality of the structure of the genitourinary system, characterized by the presence of a thin-walled fluid formation, which can be either single or multiple. The formation of cysts occurs either in the prenatal period, or due to the action of various factors throughout the life of a person. This is what determines the division of cysts into hereditary and acquired.


What causes cysts in the kidneys?

Kidney cyst

The causes leading to the appearance of kidney cysts are very diverse. The formation of cystic formations of congenital (hereditary) character depends on the problems in the genetic apparatus of a person who is very vulnerable during the pregnancy of a woman. The following factors are especially dangerous at this time:

  • Smoking;
  • Alcohol (in excess);
  • Chemical agents (chlorine, heavy metals, etc.);
  • Various infections;
  • Radioactive effects, including solar energy and X-rays.

Other factors lead to the formation of acquired cysts. These include:

  • Infectious and inflammatory diseases of the kidneys;
  • Injuries of the lumbar region;
  • Urine stasis in the kidney;
  • Dysplasia of the connective tissue structures of the urinary system;
  • Hormonal changes (elevated estrogen levels and decreased androgen levels in men provoke an increased production of the epidermal growth factor, on which the development of the neoplasm depends);
  • Impaired blood circulation in the kidney with the development of ischemic foci, the outcome of which is the formation of the cystic cavity.

Symptoms of a cyst in the kidney

Symptoms of a cyst in the kidney

The most common clinical sign of a kidney cyst is pain. They force the patient to seek medical help. Pains are localized in the affected lumbar region, and they can be either permanent or periodic.

The second characteristic symptom of a kidney cyst is arterial hypertension. Its development is associated with excessive stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system, which hormones affect blood pressure levels.

A distinctive feature of hypertension, developing on the background of renal cysts, is its malignant course and the ineffectiveness of many antihypertensive drugs. Representatives of the class of angiotensin-converting enzyme blockers only help these patients.

The third important diagnostic criterion is periodic or continuous detection of blood in the urine. The symptom may be manifested by gross hematuria (urine is visually red) or by micro hematuria (the urine does not appear to have changed color, but microscopy reveals an increased number of red blood cells).

The loss of red blood cells with urine leads to the development of anemia. The latter is also explained by the inhibition of the formation of erythropoietin in the kidneys, a substance necessary for the stimulation of erythropoiesis (formation of erythrocytes) in the bone marrow.

With an objective examination of the patient, the doctor may identify additional symptoms of a kidney cyst:

  1. The appearance of pain when tapping in the corresponding lumbar region.
  2. Pain when feeling this area.
  3. Palpatorny definition of the displaced or increased kidney.

Types of kidney cysts

The classification of cystic lesions in the renal parenchyma depends on several factors. Given the multiplicity of lesions, urologists distinguish between:

  • Solitary neoplasm;
  • Multiple (usually do not reach large sizes).

According to the topographic anatomical basis, this anomaly of the structure is divided into:

  • Cysts of both kidneys;
  • Neoplasms of one kidney (cyst of the right or left kidney).

Taking into account the morphology, cystic formations are:

  • Simple;
  • Parapelvic, located close to the renal sinus;
  • Multilocular, the hallmark of which is the presence of several chambers within the formation;
  • Dermoid, related to anomalies of embryonic development (hair, nails, adipose tissue, bones, etc., ie, derivatives of 3 embryonic leaves) are found in such cysts.

In a separate category are multicystic kidney and spongy. In the first case, the entire renal parenchyma is affected by small cysts, leading to a significant decrease in the functional reserve of the organ. As a result, renal failure develops in a short period of time.

When a spongy kidney, there are also multiple cysts, but they are localized in the collecting duct. This pathology refers to congenital conditions. Such children usually need early hemodialysis due to the rapid progression of renal failure.


Diagnosis of renal cysts is aimed at solving several problems:

  • Direct visualization of a neoplasm in the renal parenchyma.
  • 2. The study of renal function.
  • 3. Early detection of the inflammatory process.

To implement the first task, the following studies are conducted:

  • Ultrasound scan of the renal parenchyma;
  • CT scan.

To investigate the renal function, it is necessary to determine the concentration in the blood of the following substances:

  • Glucose;
  • Creatinine;
  • Squirrel;
  • Urea

The solution of the remaining problems of diagnostics implies carrying out such analyzes as:

  • Urinalysis (in inflammatory processes, the number of leukocytes increases);
  • Complete blood count (identifies inflammatory processes).

The increased risk of complications requires coagulograms for such patients (this study assesses the state of the blood coagulation system) and electrocardiography.

The need for these diagnostic tests exists when the patient enters the hospital, as it may sometimes be necessary to surgically remove a kidney cyst. This is always associated with a specific anesthetic risk and risk of bleeding (both during surgery and after).

Cyst on the kidney - what to do and how to treat?

What to do when a cyst is found on the kidney? This is a logical question that arises in the majority of patients with a similar diagnosis. Their correct management consists in actively-waiting tactics.

This means that such patients are subject to dynamic ultrasound observation. “Active” treatment of a kidney cyst begins as soon as a significant increase in the size of the neoplasm is detected — a percutaneous puncture of the kidney cyst is made, followed by aspiration of the fluid.

kidney cyst causes and treatment

If this intervention cannot be performed, then this is an indication for surgical removal of the tumor.

All patients with kidney cysts are also involved in other activities (it should be noted that the causes and treatment of kidney cysts are interrelated, if the primary cause is an infectious kidney disease, then it requires priority treatment):

  • Treatment of concomitant infections that complicate the background disease;
  • Organization of dietary nutrition;
  • Relief of complications (stop bleeding, conduct analgesic therapy, etc.).

In extremely rare cases, a kidney cyst resolves on its own. This is an additional argument in favor of active-waiting tactics. Most often this happens with inflammatory cysts.

Properly organized diet with a kidney cyst (diet table number 7 by Pevzner) is an important direction in the treatment and prevention of progression. The principles of diet are:

  • Exclusion from the diet of fat, smoked and fried;
  • Sharp limitation of salty foods (food is not recommended to be salted);
  • Complete rejection of alcohol, hot spices and soda sweet water;
  • Enriching the diet with dishes cooked in the oven, steamed and boiled;
  • Reduction in the diet of protein foods (meat and legumes), because it is excreted by the kidneys, which increases the load on them.

What is dangerous kidney cyst?

The danger of renal cysts is the possibility of complications. The latter include:

  • Chronic renal failure;
  • Retention of urine in the kidney and its expansion ( hydronephrosis );
  • Pyelonephritis , incl. and purulent;
  • Suppuration of the cyst;
  • Hemorrhage in the cyst;
  • Torn neoplasm and peritonitis;
  • Anemia;
  • Arterial hypertension.

Prevention of kidney cyst formation

Kidney cysts in women and men are multifactorial diseases, so prevention should be aimed at eliminating many causal conditions. Therefore recommended:

  • Timely treatment of inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system.
  • Treatment of foci of chronic infection (diseases of the upper respiratory tract and the dental system), which can be a source of inflammation of the kidneys.
  • Prevent injuries of the lumbar region.
  • Dynamic ultrasound monitoring of kidney injured patients.
  • Elimination of intense physical activity with increased activity.
  • Normalization of hormonal levels in men.

More preventive is more difficult to prevent congenital cysts. All activities should begin before pregnancy and during it, when a woman should adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Timely screened for the presence of chronic urogenital infections, and in case of their discovery - to treat before conception.
  • Stop smoking, incl. and passive (not nicotine, as previously thought, but carbon monoxide itself, has a toxic effect).
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Minimize exposure to direct sunlight.

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