Esophageal Cysts Workup

Updated: Jan 29, 2020
  • Author: Dale K Mueller, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey C Milliken, MD  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

Laboratory studies do not specifically aid in the diagnosis of esophageal cysts. Laboratory evaluation should be guided by the patient's other medical problems.

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Imaging Studies

Radiography guided by history and physical examination findings usually confirms the diagnosis. Plain chest radiographs can reveal a cyst within the mediastinum. Barium swallow studies reveal compression of the esophagus without ulceration.

Computed tomography (CT) reveals a fluid-filled cystic structure originating from the esophagus. CT is the radiologic modality of choice to aid in diagnosis and operative preparation (see the image below). Chest radiographic findings that suggest a mass in the mediastinum should be followed by a CT scan. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also help diagnose esophageal cysts.

CT scan of esophageal cyst demonstrated by the whi CT scan of esophageal cyst demonstrated by the white line.
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Procedures

Endoscopy demonstrates extrinsic compression with intact mucosa. Esophagoscopy should be performed to rule out an intrinsic component, which should be biopsied to exclude malignancy. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) reveals a cystic filled structure in connection with the esophagus. If EUS is available, then esophagoscopy should be performed to further delineate the extent of the cyst.

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