What are simple kidney cysts?

Kidney cysts are benign sacs of fluid that develop inside the kidneys. They are not the same as cysts that form with polycystic kidney disease, which is a genetic condition. The cause of simple kidney cysts is not known, and they are more common in older people.

Kidney Problems Spotlight

Simple kidney cysts may not cause symptoms. Occasionally, however, a kidney cyst can cause pain, infection or bleeding. In rare cases, simple kidney cysts can interfere with proper kidney function. It is also thought that simple kidney cysts can lead to high blood pressure.

Kidney cysts are usually found with computerized tomography (CT) scans or ultrasounds that are performed for other reasons. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will also detect kidney cysts. Most of the time, simple kidney cysts do not require treatment. If they cause symptoms, however, you need to see your health care provider. Treatment for simple kidney cysts includes draining the cyst using a long needle, or surgical draining of the cyst.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for severe, sudden pain in your back, abdomen or sides, along with a high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit).

Seek prompt medical care if you have bothersome symptoms of kidney cysts, such as pain, discomfort, or difficulty urinating.


What are the symptoms of simple kidney cysts?

In most cases, simple kidney cysts will not cause any symptoms. Many people, especially older people, have simple kidney cysts without knowing it. In more serious cases, however, simple kidney cysts can lead to symptoms, including pain, kidney problems, and infection of the kidneys.... Read more about simple kidney cystssymptoms


What causes simple kidney cysts?

The cause of simple kidney cysts is not known. They are not genetic in origin. Simple kidney cysts are more common as you get older and may simply be a normal effect of aging. The fluid-filled sacs that are classified as simple kidney cysts are different from the kidney cysts that occur with polycystic kidney disease.... Read more about simple kidney cystscauses


How are simple kidney cysts treated?

Simple kidney cysts do not usually require treatment. If they cause symptoms, such as pain or kidney problems, treatment may be required. Treatment for simple kidney cysts involves draining the cyst, either surgically or with a long needle.... Read more about simple kidney cyststreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System

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