Gartner duct cysts develop from embryologic remnants of the Wolffian (mesonephric) duct. They are often noticed incidentally on ultrasound or MRI.
They may cause mass effect on adjacent structures.
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.
Like other cysts, they are lined with non-mucinous cuboidal or columnar epithelium.
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
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.
In rare cases with larger cysts, dyspareunia and problems in obstetric delivery have been described 3.
General imaging differential considerations include:
- 1. Hahn WY, Israel GM, Lee VS. MRI of female urethral and periurethral disorders. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004;182 (3): 677-82. AJR Am J Roentgenol (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Siegelman ES, Outwater EK, Banner MP et-al. High-resolution MR imaging of the vagina. Radiographics. 17 (5): 1183-203. Radiographics (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Hagspiel KD. Giant Gartner duct cyst: magnetic resonance imaging findings. Abdom Imaging. 20 (6): 566-8. - Pubmed citation
- 4. Arumugam A, Kumar G, Si L et-al. Gartner duct cyst in pregnancy presenting as a prolapsing pelvic mass. Biomed Imaging Interv J. 2007;3 (4): e46. doi:10.2349/biij.3.4.e46 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 5. Lee MJ, Yoder IC, Papanicolaou N et-al. Large Gartner duct cyst associated with a solitary crossed ectopic kidney: imaging features. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 15 (1): 149-51. - Pubmed citation
- 6 .Li YW, Sheih CP, Chen WJ. MR imaging and sonography of Gartner's duct cyst and single ectopic ureter with ipsilateral renal dysplasia. Pediatr Radiol. 1992;22 (6): 472-3. - Pubmed citation
- 7. Dwyer PL, Rosamilia A. Congenital urogenital anomalies that are associated with the persistence of Gartner's duct: a review. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2006;195 (2): 354-9. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2005.10.815 - Pubmed citation
- 8. Walker DK, Salibian RA, Salibian AD et-al. Overlooked diseases of the vagina: a directed anatomic-pathologic approach for imaging assessment. Radiographics. 2011;31 (6): 1583-98. doi:10.1148/rg.316115531 - Pubmed citation