Gartner duct cyst

Gartner duct cysts develop from embryologic remnants of the Wolffian (mesonephric) duct. They are often noticed incidentally on ultrasound or MRI.

Clinical presentation

They may cause mass effect on adjacent structures.

Pathology

Location

Gartner duct cysts are located in the anterolateral wall of the proximal (superior) portion of the vagina 2 and are typically located above the level of the inferior most aspect of the pubic symphysis.

Histology

Like other cysts, they are lined with nonmucinous cuboidal or columnar epithelium.

Associations

Gartner duct cysts most often are isolated findings, but can also be associated with abnormalities of the metanephric urinary system or in Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome 4-7

Radiographic features

Typically, they are simple cystic lesions arising from the anterolateral aspect of the superior vagina. They are usually small (<2 cm) although occasionally they can become very large (up to several centimetres) 3.

Complications

In rare cases with larger cysts, dyspareunia and problems in obstetric delivery have been described 3.

Differential diagnosis 

General imaging differential considerations include:

  • Bartholin gland cyst: their location at or below the level of the pubic symphysis and usually arising from posterolateral wall of the vagina; this helps to differentiate them from Gartner duct cysts
  • urethral diverticulum: located around the urethra

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