What Is a Kidney Cyst?

By adam
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Mayo Clinic, Kidney cysts. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions-kidney-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20374134.
  • 2. N. Terada, Y. Arai, N. Kinukawa, K. Yoshimura and A. Terai. Risk factors for renal cysts. BJU International Journals (2004).
Medical Expert Medical Expert

A kidney cyst is an oval or round pouch that’s filled with fluid and typically grows directly on the kidney’s surface. It is also possible for a kidney cyst to develop inside the kidney. Usually, these cysts are characterized as “simple” cysts, which means they have thin, well-defined walls that hold fluid inside.

Kidney cysts are fairly common, and it’s estimated that approximately one out of every 10 people have them. That number rises to an estimated one in five in people aged 50 and older. Many people have kidney cysts without even knowing it.

1. Causes

The cause of kidney cysts isn’t fully understood, and researchers are still trying to determine why some people develop them. However, there are some theories out there as to what causes kidney cysts.

One theory suggests that when the surface layer of the kidney becomes weak for some reason, it can form a pouch called a diverticulum.1Mayo Clinic, Kidney cysts. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions-kidney-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20374134. When the pouch fills up with liquid, it forms into a cyst. While this theory makes sense, more research still needs to be done to understand exactly why kidney cysts form.

Kidney Cyst

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