Umbilical cord cyst

Umbilical cord cysts 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):

They 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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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2: multiple
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