Do Parapelvic Cysts Pose Any Health Risk?
Kidney and Urologic Diseases Data Verified

Parapelvic Cysts - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Published on Jul 27, 2022 and last reviewed on Aug 18, 2023   -  4 min read


These are simple renal cysts that enter the renal sinus from the adjacent renal parenchyma. Learn more about parapelvic cysts in this article.

Parapelvic Cysts - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Cystic lesions are particularly common in the kidney. When it comes to adults over the age of 40, the incidence is approximately 25 %; however, when the adult is above the age of 80, the incidence jumps to 66 %.

What Are Parapelvic Cysts?

Parapelvic cysts are simple renal cysts that emerge from the neighbouring renal parenchyma and enter the renal sinus. They are often single or few in number and morphologically resemble simple renal cortical cysts. It is extra parenchymal in origin and originates in the kidney's hilum, adjacent to the pelvis and significant calyces. The cyst is thought to be lymphatic in origin and to have no connection to the pelvicalyceal system.

The parapelvic cyst has a mechanism and tissue structure nearly identical to those of a simple kidney cyst. Occasionally, a parapelvic cyst may compress the pelvicalyceal system, resulting in hydronephrosis.

What Is the Incidence Rate of Parapelvic Cysts?

The parapelvic cysts are infrequent. It is estimated that approximately one percent to two percent of all renal cysts are parapelvic cysts, which are non-genetic cysts with pathological alterations.

What Are the Causes of Parapelvic Cysts?

  • This condition is typically caused by either congenital dysplasia or an acquired blockage in the kidney, depending on the case. The parapelvic cyst is associated with blockage of the urinary tract. In most cases, the patient with this problem has a medical history of urinary tract blockage, concretion, or infectious disease in the past. Some researchers believe this is due to the local expansion of pelvic lymphatic arteries produced by persistent inflammation, which they believe is responsible for the phenomenon. The larger parapelvic cysts have the potential to compress the renal pelvis, arteries, and lymphatic vessels.

  • It was determined that the ultimate pathology of a parapelvic cyst was producing extrinsic compression to the right pelvis. Imaging is used to confirm the presence of a parapelvic cyst. Cysts that are centrally situated on ultrasound imaging may be confused for pelvicalyceal dilatation, which is not uncommon.

What Are the Symptoms of Parapelvic Cysts?

Despite the fact that it is usually asymptomatic, it can be connected with hematuria, hypertension, hydronephrosis, or become infectious. Some of the most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Hematuria (blood in urine).

  • Back or side ache that is dull in nature.

  • Fever.

  • Abdominal discomfort in the upper or lower abdomen.

How Is a Parapelvic Cyst Diagnosed?

The following tests and methods are used to diagnose parapelvic cysts:

  • Imaging Studies: Imaging studies are performed. Simple kidney cysts are frequently investigated with imaging procedures such as an ultrasound, a computed tomography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). When a kidney mass is detected, imaging studies can help your doctor identify whether it is a cyst or a tumor.

  • Computed Tomography (CT Scan): Enhancing the use of CT scans and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction techniques is also vital for diagnosing a case. The position, size, shape, and internal structure of a tumor could be precisely determined by computerized tomography, and the presence of a tumor could be excluded.

  • Kidney Function Tests: A sample of your blood may be tested to determine whether or not you have a kidney cyst that is interfering with your kidney function.

  • 3D Reconstruction Technique: A 3D (three dimensional) reconstruction technique was used to define the relationship between the cyst, collective system, and kidney vessels. It was also used to observe compression of the parapelvic cyst on the collective system as well as the presence of other tissues in a space between the parapelvic cyst and the collective system, which was not previously known. This could serve as a foundation for the surgical approach and help avoid harm to the renal hilum tissue in the process.

What Is the Differential Diagnosis for a Parapelvic Cyst?

On ultrasound, those renal cysts are typically located in the center of the kidney and can be misinterpreted for hydronephrosis. A contrast dye imaging study, such as an intravenous urography (IVU) or a computerized tomography (CT) urogram, should be conducted to make a confirmative diagnosis.

What Are the Treatment Modalities for Parapelvic Cysts?

  • Because parapelvic cysts are located so close to the renal hilum and the collecting system, they can cause blockage, infection, hypertension, discomfort, and calculus in the urinary tract. When compared to uncomplicated renal parenchymal cysts, the parapelvic cyst manifests symptoms more quickly and necessitates surgical intervention more frequently, making therapy more complex.

  • In the treatment of parapelvic cyst, the following procedures are performed:

    • Paracentesis.

    • Sclerotherapy.

    • Open surgery with a nephroscope.

    • Drainage of cystic fluid by surgery with a nephroscope.

    • Unroofing surgery with celoscope.

    • Antegrade percutaneous nephroscopic ablation.

  • Paracentesis and Sclerotherapy: Paracentesis and sclerotherapy are not usually recommended in recent times for the treatment of parapelvic cysts because of the damage to the hilus renal structure, and urine fistula of the collective system would result in bleeding. Using these treatment methods might increase the chance of outflow, which can result in significant pyelonephritis and obstruction of the renal pelvis connection.

  • Open Surgery With Nephroscope: The unroofing of the cyst and nephrectomy are included in the open procedure. Open operation is the classic standard operation mode, and it is safe and effective, but it has a long convalescence period as a result. The latter procedures introduced progressively favor a variety of minimally invasive procedures.

  • Unroofing Surgery With Celoscope: Whether performed throughout the pathway of the abdominal cavity or post-peritoneum, the unroofing of the parapelvic cyst via celoscope was formerly considered a standard technology for parapelvic cyst therapy, with positive results documented in prior studies. The celoscope is ineffective in cases where the cyst is contained within the kidney, whether within the renal parenchyma or the renal hilum, without exposing the cyst.

  • Antegrade Percutaneous Nephroscopic Ablation: Recent reports have described successful endoscopic therapy of renal cysts using antegrade percutaneous nephroscopic ablation and retrograde flexible ureteroscopy. In addition to being successful, the retrograde technique also has a low complication rate. Other advantages include the fact that it is a minimally invasive procedure with a brief hospital stay following surgery.


You may be concerned about a parapelvic cyst that was identified during an imaging exam for another disease or condition. Usually, asymptomatic cysts do not pose severe complications. However, consult your doctor about the implications of having a cyst on your overall health and if you have any complications that are arising due to the cyst. Gathering facts and figures may make you feel at ease in your situation.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
18 Aug 2023  -  4 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Is sudden weight loss apparent in abdominal tuberculosis?

Query: Hello doctor, My father had a sudden weight loss. CT abdomen was done. It shows likely TB etiology and few cortical cysts in the bilateral kidney. The previous infection was found in the urine culture report.  Read Full »

Is a cystic mass in the kidney with perfusion of the rim indicative of renal cell carcinoma?

Query: Hi doctor, A 44-year-old female and has no symptoms. The incidental finding on CT is a small renal mass. Ultrasound with contrast finding is the lesion within the left kidney. It is well defined with fundamental imaging. The lesion measures approx 0.70 inch and has solid appearances on baseline exam...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Kidney Cyst or Parapelvic Cysts?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.