Cysts of the kidney vary from microscopic to tumor-like proportions. The cysts with which I am here concerned are solitary cysts which vary from 6 to 28 cm. in diameter, contain clear fluid and are situated in or on the parenchyma of the kidney. They have an irregular lining of low cuboidal epithelium and are in no demonstrable way connected with the pelvis, calix or ureter of the kidney in which they are found. Hemorrhagic, multilocular, hydatid or retention cysts due to obstruction of calices or other pathologic conditions are not considered, nor is cystic degeneration of the newborn or polycystic kidney disease.
The historical and literary background of such cysts is interesting. Cystic disease of the kidney was noted 300 years ago, but no clear-cut classification of the various types was made until 1876. In spite of the comparative rarity of the condition, more than 700 men have written
FISH GW. LARGE SOLITARY SEROUS CYSTS OF THE KIDNEY: REPORT OF THIRTY-TWO CASES, INCLUDING TWO CASES CURED BY ASPIRATION AND INSTILLATION OF 50 PER CENT DEXTROSE SOLUTION. JAMA. 1939;112(6):514–518. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800060030006
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