Ovarian cyst

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Author: Mikael Häggström [notes 1]


Typically a cyst with more or less of the ovary.


On this resource, the following formatting is used for comprehensiveness:

  • Minimal depth
  • (Moderate depth)
  • ((Comprehensive))
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<< Decision needed between alternatives separated by / signs >>
{{Common findings / In case of findings}}
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Gross processing

The specimen is generally not inked.

Gross report


(Labeled - ___.) The specimen is received in formalin and consists of an ovary with a cyst, and attached portion of the fallopian tube, in total measuring ___. The capsule of the ovary and the cyst is tan-pink and smooth. The cyst is << intact / collapsed>>{{, with a wall defect measuring _ cm}}. Upon {{further}} opening the contents of the cyst consists of ___. The cyst lining is tan-pink and smooth, with a wall thickness of __. There are no papillary excrescences. Cut sections of the ovary reveal solid, white and whorled parenchyma, and no gross lesions. The attached fallopian tube fragment measures ___, and displays fimbria. Cut sections of the tube reveal a patent lumen. Representative sections are submitted for microscopic examination in __ cassettes.

Microscopic evaluation

Attempt to classify into either of the following:

Type Subtype Typical microscopy findings Image
Functional cyst Follicular cyst Graafian Follicle, Human Ovary (3595817584).jpg
Corpus luteum cyst
  • A convoluted cyst lining of luteinized granulosa cells[2]
  • A prominent inner layer of fibrous tissue[2]
  • An outer layer of theca cells[2]
Histopathology of hemorrhagic corpus luteum cyst.jpg
Cystadenoma Serous cystadenoma Cyst lining consisting of a simple epithelium, whose cells may be either:[3]
  • columnar and tall and contain cilia, resembling normal tubal epithelium
  • cuboidal and have no cilia, resembling ovarian surface epithelium
Histopathology of serous cystadenoma.jpg
Mucinous cystadenoma Lined by a mucinous epithelium Histopathology of lining of a benign mucinous tumor of the ovary.jpg
Mature cystic teratoma
Well-differentiated components from at least two germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and/or endoderm).[4] Histopathology of ovarian dermoid cyst.jpg
Endometriosis At least two of the following three criteria:[5] Histopathology of ovarian endometrioma.jpg
Borderline tumor Atypical epithelial proliferation without stromal invasion.[6] Histopathology of seromucinous borderline tumors.jpg
Ovarian cancer Many different types, but generally severe dysplasia/atypia and invasion.
Simple squamous cyst Simple squamous epithelium and not conforming to diagnoses above Histopathology of simple squamous cyst wall.jpg


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

Main page


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mohiedean Ghofrani. Ovary - nontumor - Nonneoplastic cysts / other - Follicular cysts. Pathology Outlines. Topic Completed: 1 August 2011. Revised: 5 March 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Aurelia Busca, Carlos Parra-Herran. Ovary - nontumor - Nonneoplastic cysts / other - Corpus luteum cyst (CLC). Pathology Outlines. Topic Completed: 1 November 2016. Revised: 5 March 2020
  3. Shahrzad Ehdaivand, M.D.. Ovary tumor - serous tumors - Serous cystadenoma / adenofibroma / surface papilloma. Pathology Outlines. Topic Completed: 1 June 2012. Revised: 5 March 2020
  4. Sahin, Hilal; Abdullazade, Samir; Sanci, Muzaffer (2017). "Mature cystic teratoma of the ovary: a cutting edge overview on imaging features ". Insights into Imaging 8 (2): 227–241. doi:10.1007/s13244-016-0539-9. ISSN 1869-4101. 
  5. Aurelia Busca, Carlos Parra-Herran. Ovary - nontumor - Nonneoplastic cysts / other - Endometriosis. Pathology Outlines. Topic Completed: 1 August 2017. Revised: 5 March 2020
  6. Lee-may Chen, MDJonathan S Berek, MD, MMS. Borderline ovarian tumors. UpToDate. This topic last updated: Feb 08, 2019.