A Complicated “Simple” Renal Cyst

Daphne M. Harrington1, *, Alexa S. Meara2, Tushar Vaccharajani3 , Tejas Desai4
1 Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, USA
2 Division of General Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, USA
3 Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Sailsbury VA Medical Center, Salisbury, NC, USA
4 Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Internal Medicine, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, USA

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© Harrington et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at P.O. Box 800133, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0133, USA; Tel: (434) 924-5124; Fax: (434) 924-5848; E-mail:



Simple renal cysts are usually asymptomatic and benign. Rarely, symptoms and complications can develop from local mass effect which is illustrated by this case.

Case Presentation:

77 year old Caucasian male presents with abdominal pain for five days. Abdominal exam was diffusely tender, markedly distended, tympanic with absent bowel sounds. His work-up included an abdominal x-ray showing a colonic obstruction and abdominal CT showing a large 27 cm renal cyst. Drainage of the renal cyst resolved obstructive symptoms.


A simple renal cyst should not be overlooked as the reason for acute abdominal pain. Simple renal cysts, though benign are not without complications.

Keywords:: Cystic kidney diseases, intestinal obstruction, abdominal pain, colon.