Kidney cysts finding from medical checkup: Do we need to take it seriously?

Kidney cyst
FB Dr Soarawee
Soarawee Weerasopone, MD

Minimally Invasive Uro-Oncologist
Royal Phnom Penh hospital, Kingdom of Cambodia

Because of the medical checkup has been promoted publicity and currently people they very significantly concern their health so much, consequently, health promotion center in the big hospital will in trend for now. Tons of patients coming for their medical health checkup regularly, ultrasonography of the abdomen is one of the modalities which included in the package program. Kidney cyst is one issue that incidentally found and detected from the ultrasonography and pushed the patients to see me at the Urology clinic. This topic we will mainly paying attention on the simply benign kidney cysts.

Kidney cysts are always incidentally found from ultrasonography in health check up program.

Kidney cyst is the most common lesion of the kidney. They are approximately presented up to 5% in normal population. More than 25% prevalence in patients older than 50 years old, and up to 40% regularly of medical checkup will incidentally reported on kidney cysts. You can notice that it is an aging-related issue all; the kidney cyst mostly developed from nonfunctioning kidney tissue which getting more when we are getting old.

If we are going to tell you a little deeper about the kidney cysts according to the natural history, there have been several kinds of kidney cysts which described in the textbooks, changes from benign to malignancy. Nearly 100% of kidney cysts are a silence condition so we often saw and detected the kidney cysts especially from the medical checkup imaging. Positively is that the ultrasound application in this moment will be able to give us enough data in order to clarify whether which one is benign and which one is malignancy. But is not meaning that all patients need to do the definite investigation for that – a CT scan with contrast.

CT scan
CT scan with contrast is the definite investigation in case ultrasound study is still questionable.

When patients meet urologist, a full medical history plus physical examination and the investigations will documented. The details from the imaging on the kidney cysts for example clear or turbid cyst content, size, number and location those are the important information for the prospect follow-up strategy. The important message we must tell patient on the benign kidney cyst is, it will never and ever turn to be a malignancy (Less than 1% the literature has confirmed the malignancy turning point). If patients didn’t experience any cyst-related symptoms for example flank pain or bloody urination, we do nothing beside a regular imaging surveillance.

Physical exam
Once patients visit at Urology office, full medical history taking and physical examination are performed.

In general, if there still the kidney cysts, either way they will slowly growing up. So question will coming up like; when do we need to do something? The annoying cyst-related symptoms will be the key point. There are several papers have had mentioned about kidney cysts removal operation if the cyst’s diameter is big like 8 cm, and it will obtain a great clinical outcome and less recurrent rate.

Kidney cyst is a common issue that needs a mutual good understanding between patients and doctors. A regular imaging is required to maximize the clinical outcome. To receive more information related, please discuss with your trusted urologist. Take care and stay safe.

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