Umbilical cord cyst

Umbilical cord cyst can refer to any cystic lesion associated with the umbilical cord. They can be single (commoner) or multiple.

They may be seen in ~3% of pregnancies in the first trimester 8.

Umbilical cord cysts can represent either true or false cysts


There are increased associations (especially when there are additional sonographic abnormalities and if there is persistence in the 2nd or 3rd trimester) with certain chromosomal/structural anomalies (reported in the up to 20% in one study 8):

Antenatal ultrasound

They generally tend to be eccentric in relation to the umbilical cord 7. It can be almost impossible to differentiate a true cyst from a pseudocyst on sonographic grounds. The cyst sizes can be variable ranging from a few millimeters up to 5 cm 11.

Most advocate a detailed sonographic assessment to be performed if an umbilical cord cyst is seen. A transient cyst which resolves on subsequent imaging is considered to carry an excellent prognosis. 

Concerning factors include

  • multiple cysts 10
  • presence of other sonographic abnormalities
  • persistence during serial sonographic assessment or persistence into the 2nd or 3rd trimester

On ultrasound consider

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Article information

rID: 13201
System: Obstetrics
Section: Gamuts
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cysts of the umbilical cord
  • Umbilical cord cysts

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