Skip to main content

Subtotal resection and omentoplasty of the epidermoid splenic cyst: a case report



Nonparasitic splenic cysts are uncommon clinical entity and because of it, there is no information regarding their optimal surgical treatment.

Case presentation

A 41-years-old female with incidentally diagnosed nonparasitic splenic cyst which initially was asymptomatic. After two years of follow up, the patient underwent surgery; subtotal cystectomy and omentoplasty as an additional procedure. Postoperative course was uneventful.


Short and mid term results showed that near total cystectomy with omentoplasty was a safe successful procedure for treatment of epidermoid splenic cyst.


There is confusion about the etiology, pathogenesis and classification of nonparasitic splenic cysts [1]-[7]. The description of these lesions still can be found as epidermoid, epithelial, "true" and "false" cysts [2, 4, 8]. Because these cysts are uncommon, there is no 'evidence-based' information regarding optimal surgical treatment [4, 9].

The aim of this presentation is to report the case of epidermoid splenic cyst treated with near total cyst resection with cyst wall edges plication and omentoplasty as an additional procedure, very rarely described in treatment of nonparasitic splenic cysts.

Case presentation

A 41-years-old Kosovan Albanian female with a splenic cyst diagnosed incidentally two years earlier, during the preoperative process priory to laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Initially, on abdominal sonography the splenic cyst size 4.6 × 5.0 cm was diagnosed. Since the patient comes from the endemic region for echinococcosis, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed, whereas the splenic cyst was followed-up. But, the mild pain on the left upper abdominal quadrant continuous to persist. Repeated abdominal US and CT after one respectively two years, have showed that the splenic cyst reached the size 6.0 × 5.0 cm and 7.4 × 7.3 respectively (Figure 1). Echinoccoccus - antigen tests, two times were negative. The patient underwent left subcostal laparotomy. Intraoperatively, a nonparasitic cyst of upper part of the spleen was found (Figure 2). The cytology and microbiology examination of the cyst content resulted without pathologic findings. Near total excision of the cyst along with a part of pericystic splenic tissue was done; only e small part of the posterior capsule of the cyst was left. The cyst wall edges were sewn with continual PDS 3.0 sutures and the defect was covered with the omental flap - omentoplasty fixed with few resorbable single sutures. Macroscopically, typical coarse fibrous trabeculation for nonparasitic splenic cysts were present. Histologically, the diagnosis of splenic cyst containing epidermoid epithelium (Figure 3) was confirmed. Postoperative course was uneventful and the patient was discharged in good condition on the sixth postoperative day. At 5-months follow up, patient has had no symptoms. Abdominal sonography a month and four months later showed normal appearance of the remaining spleen and good incorporation of the omentum (Figure 4).

Figure 1
figure 1

CT scan image showing a well-defined cystic lesion on the upper part of the spleen.

Figure 2
figure 2

Intraoperative view showing a blue and white capsule of the nonparasitic splenic cyst.

Figure 3
figure 3

Histopathology showing epidermoid epithelium of the cystic wall (HEx 100).

Figure 4
figure 4

Abdominal ultrasound a month after surgery showing good vascularisation and incorporation of the omentum (between arrows) to the splenic tissue.


Symptomatic nonparasitic splenic cysts are rare entity in clinical practice. There is confusion about their etiology, pathogenesis and classification as well [1]-[7]. Morgenstern (2002) proposed a new classification based on characteristic gross findings [3]. A unique terminology is not yet accepted, therefore, these lesions still are described as epidermoid, epithelial, "true" and "false" cysts [2, 4, 8]. Epidermoid cysts are true cysts that constitute about 10-25% of nonparasitic splenic cysts [2, 4]. There is no 'evidence-based' information regarding optimal surgical treatment, therefore, treatment modalities of these cysts are not yet clearly defined [1]-[14]. Cysts larger than 5 cm, as well as symptomatic and complicated cysts, should be treated. Recognition of the risk of postsplenectomy complications, especially in children, has led to spleen conserving surgery [4, 8, 10]. Traditionally used splenectomy, currently is attempted to be replaced with the procedures of splenic preservation. Last years, the most often performed laparoscopic and open spleen preserving procedures in treatment of nonparasitic cysts were partial splenectomy and near total cystectomy - cyst "decapsulation" [3]-[9]. Laparoscopic approach has gained increasing acceptance in splenic surgery. But, although there are reports that presents good results with laparoscopic excision of nonparasitic splenic cysts, the largest retrospective studies [7, 9, 15] showed that laparoscopic treatment is associated with a high recurrence rate. Fisher et al [2008] have reported a recurrence rate of 71% [9]. In a recent report, Palanivelu et al. (2008) concluded that plication of the cyst wall edges prevents the cyst walls from adhering and causing recurrence, as well as helping to control hemorrhage [7]. Although there are no long-term follow-up results, based on short and mid-term follow-up, both main spleen preserving procedures such as partial splenectomy and near total cystectomy are acceptable. Nowadays, spleen-preserving techniques should be attempted in every case of splenic nonparasitic cysts, therefore, surgeons must master both techniques [3, 5, 7, 10].

In our presenting case, through laparotomy was performed near total excision of the cyst along with a part of pericystic splenic tissue. Based on our long-term experience in treatment of hydatid cysts [16], the remained cavity and cyst wall edges were cared with continual absorbable sutures and omentoplasty. Omentoplasty as an additional procedure to splenic subtotal cystectomy, in English literature, was described only in few reports [17, 18]. Short and mid term follow up showed that this was a safe procedure, and we think that the additional wall edges sutures and omentoplasty could have a positive effect in controlling hemorrhage, prevention of recurrence and perisplenic adhesion formation as well. However, this need to be analyzed in larger groups and long-term follow up.


Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.



Computerized tomography


Polydioxanone sutures


Ultrasound scan.


  1. Morgenstern L, Shapiro SJ: Partial splenectomy for nonparasitic splenic cysts. Am J Surg. 1980, 139: 278-281. 10.1016/0002-9610(80)90273-1.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Shirkhoda A, Freeman J, Armin AR, Cacciarelli AA, Morden R: Imaging features of splenic epidermoid cysts with pathologic correlation. Abdom Imaging. 1995, 20: 449-451. 10.1007/BF01213269.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Morgenstern L: Nonparasitic splenic cysts: pathogenesis, classification and treatment. J Am Coll Surg. 2002, 194: 306-314. 10.1016/S1072-7515(01)01178-4.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Tsakayannis DE, Kristen M, Kozakewich HP, Shamberger R: Splenic preservation in the management of splenic epidermoid cysts in children. J Pediatr Surg. 1995, 30: 1468-1470. 10.1016/0022-3468(95)90409-3.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Gianom D, Wildisen A, Hotz T, Goti F, Decurtins M: Open and laparoscopic treatment of nonparasitic splenic cysts. Dig Surg. 2003, 20: 74-78. 10.1159/000068860.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Masatoshi K, Masaomi Y, Katsuya M, Tetsunobu U, Minoru Mizuta, Kazutyo S: Familial epidermoid cysts of the spleen: Report of two cases. Surg Today. 2006, 36: 853-856. 10.1007/s00595-006-3244-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Palanivelu C, Rangarajan M, Madankumar MV, John SJ: Laparoscopic internal marsupialization for large nonparasitic splenic cysts: effective organ preserving technique. World J Surg. 2008, 32: 20-25. 10.1007/s00268-007-9258-1.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Hulzebos CV, Leemans R, Halma C, De Vries TW: Splenic epithelial cysts and splenomegaly: diagnosis and management. Neth J Med. 1998, 53: 80-84. 10.1016/S0300-2977(98)00057-6.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Fisher JC, Gurung B, Cowles RA: Recurrence after laparoscopic excision of nonparasitic splenic cysts. J Pediatr Surg. 2008, 43: 1644-1648. 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.12.052.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Mertens J, Penninks F, DeWever I, Topal B: Long-term outcome after surgical treatment of nonparasitic splenic cysts. Surg Endosc. 2007, 21: 2006-2008. 10.1007/s00464-005-0039-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Wu SC, Wang CC, Yong CC: Partial splenectomy for benign splenic cysts with the aid of a Lin clamp: Technical note. World J Surg. 2007, 11: 2144-2147. 10.1007/s00268-007-9240-y.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Ehrlich P, Jamieson CG: Nonparasitic splenic cysts: a case report and review. Can J Surg. 1990, 33: 306-308.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Lifshits I, Valetskii V, Zaichenko P, Savitskii R, Sychev V, Iarovoi AV: Splenic resection for the spleen cyst. Klin Khir. 2008, 6: 24-26.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Marescaux J, Anselm Y, D'Escurac X, Doffoel M, Sibilly A: Splenic pseudocysts. A propos of a case. J Chir (Paris). 1986, 123: 352-357.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Czauderma P, Vajda P, Schaarschmidt K, Kalman A, Jainshc M, Engelis A, Lewicki K, Verebely T, Koltai J, Petersons A, Pinter AB: Nonparasitic splenic cysts in children: a multicentric study. Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2006, 16: 415-419. 10.1055/s-2006-924748.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Krasniqi A, Hoxha FT, Nuhiu B, Bicaj B, Bruqi B, Tanaj H, Spahija G, Plakolli N, Limani D: Results of different surgical methods in management of hepatic hydatidosis. Med Arh. 2006, 60: 23-25.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Gumbs AA, Bouhanna P, Bar-Zakai B, Briennon X, Gayet B: Laparoscopic partial splenectomy using radiofrequency ablation. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2008, 18: 611-613. 10.1089/lap.2007.0194.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. McColl RJ, Hochman DJ, Sample C: Laparoscopic management of splenic cysts: marsupializtion, cavity lining with surgical and ometoplasty to prevent recurrence. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2007, 17: 455-458. 10.1097/SLE.0b013e31811ea2d2.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Avdyl S Krasniqi.

Additional information

Competing interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

AK and GL designed the work; AK and GS wrote the paper with contribution from SH and EO; the other authors contributed equally to this work.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Krasniqi, A.S., Spahija, G.S., Hashani, S.I. et al. Subtotal resection and omentoplasty of the epidermoid splenic cyst: a case report. Cases Journal 2, 6382 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: