Ovarian Cysts Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Mar 09, 2023
  • Author: Morgann Madill, MD; Chief Editor: Nicole W Karjane, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

During an ED workup, it is imperative that life-threatening or causes of abdominal and/or pelvic pain associated with high morbidity be excluded before ovarian cyst is diagnosed. This includes ruling out emergent female gynecologic and urologic symptoms such as ectopic pregnancy, ovarian torsion, tubo-ovarian abscess, or other conditions such as appendicitis or diverticulitis.

After etiologies of acute abdominal pain are ruled out, the physician's primary concern is to determine whether the pain or pelvic mass reflects a possible neoplastic etiology, which must be assessed further by a gynecologist in the ED or in an outpatient setting in an appropriate time frame.

Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of ovarian cyst include the following:

  • Hydronephrosis

  • Hydrosalpinx

  • Paraovarian cyst

  • Pedunculated leiomyoma

  • Pelvic kidney

  • Pelvic lymphocele

  • Peritoneal cyst

  • Psoas abscess

  • Tubo-ovarian abscess

  • Tubal disease

  • Abdominal abscess

  • Ectopic pregnancy

  • Ovarian torsion

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Renal calculi

  • Salpingitis

  • Urethral diverticulum

Differential Diagnoses