Bronchogenic cyst overview

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Bronchogenic cyst Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Bronchogenic cyst from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Study of Choice

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings



Echocardiography and Ultrasound




Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy



Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Joanna Ekabua, M.D. [2]


Bronchogenic cyst is a rare benign congenital malformation of the tracheobronchial tree derived from the ventral aspect of the foregut. It most frequently occurs in the middle mediastinum, in the early stages of gestation or in the lungs, at the later stages of gestation. Atypical locations may be explained by its embryologic origin. Patients with bronchogenic cyst may be asymptomatic or present with respiratory distress, increasing stridor, feeding difficulties, chest pain, cough, progressive dysphagia, odynophagia, purulent sputum, dyspnea, anorexia and/orweight loss. Radiologic findings are useful to differentiate bronchogenic cysts from other cysts but they may not always confirm the diagnosis. Diagnosis is confirmed by surgical excision, which is curative, and histological findings of ciliated columnar epithelial lining of the cyst.

Historical Perspective

There is limited information about the historical perspective of bronchogenic cyst.


Bronchogenic cyst can be classified based on location; pulmonary and extrapulmonary.


It is thought that bronchogenic cyst is the result of abnormal budding of the ventral portion of the primitive foregut between days 26 - 40 of gestation.


The cause of bronchogenic cysts is undetermined.

Differentiating Bronchogenic cyst from other Diseases

Differentiating bronchogenic cyst from lung abcess, thymic cyst, and esophageal duplication cysts.

Bronchogenic cyst epidemiology and demographics|Epidemiology and Demographics

There is no racial predilection to bronchogenic cyst. Bronchogenic cyst is slightly more prevalent in men and often remain undetected until the third or fourth decade of life.

Risk factors

There are no established risk factors for bronchogenic cyst.


There is insufficient evidence to recommend routine screening for bronchogenic cyst as it is usually an incidental finding.

Natural history, complications and prognosis

Natural History

The symptoms of bronchogenic cyst usually develop in the third to fourth decade of life and start with symptoms such as


Common complications of bronchogenic cyst include


Prognosis is generally good, a Morbidity & Mortality rate of 20% has been recorded in older patients treated for bronchogenic cyst.

Diagnostic Study of Choice

Excision and Hematoxylin and Eosin staining.

Diagnostic results

Cillated columar epithelia cells is definitive for broncogenic cyst.

Diagnostic criteria

Cystic mass-producing compressive symptoms.

History and symptoms

The majority of patients with bronchogenic cyst are asymptomatic and are diagnosed during investigations for other pathologies.

When symptomatic, the clinical presentation of bronchogenic cyst depends on the age of the patient, size and the location of the cyst.

In infants bronchogenic cyst presents with

In children and adults, bronchogenic cyst presents with

Physical examinaton

Physical examination of patients with bronchogenic cyst is usually normal. On rare occasions, the following signs can be seen

Laboratory findings

An elevated serum tumor makers CA125 and CA19-9, which is usually suggestive of progression/complication.


CT scan may be helpful in the diagnosis of bronchogenic cyst. The density of bronchogenic cysts is variable from water density to high density due to blood, anthracotic pigment, increased calcium content, or increased protein content of the fluid. Findings on CT scan suggestive of bronchogenic cyst is an

  • Cysic mass with air-fluid levels.
  • ovoid and well-defined encapsulated low-density cystic mass with no contrast enhancement.
  • Thin subtle walls.


MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of bronchogenic cyst. After contrast injection, enhancement of the cyst is frequently absent. Findings on MRI suggestive of bronchogenic cyst include

  • T1-weighted images show ipointense signal
  • T2-weighted images show hyperintense signal.


ultrasound may be helpful in the diagnosis of bronchogenic cyst. Finding on an ultrasound suggestive of bronchogenic cyst include

Other Diagnostic Studies

Other diagnostic studies for bronchogenic cyst include: Excision and Hematoxylin and Eosin staining, which demonstrates ciliated columar epithelia cells is definitive for bronchogenic cyst


Medical therapy

The mainstay of treatment for bronchogenic cyst is surgery.


Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for bronchogenic cyst even when the patients are asymptomatic, a conservative approach is not approved.

Primary prevention

There are no established measures for the primary prevention of bronchogenic cyst.

Secondaryy prevention

There are no established measures for the secondary prevention of bronchogenic cyst.


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