Gartner duct cyst

Last revised by Dr Yahya Baba on 29 Jun 2022

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 most inferior 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 centimeters) 3.

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

General imaging differential considerations include:

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

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Cases and figures

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