Bronchial Cyst

Facts About  A Bronchial Cyst

Bronchogenic or a bronchial cyst is round in shape and usually develops long before birth in the embryonic stage. It pouches out from the trachea or the foregut. A bronchial cyst can be found in the lungs, heart, esophagus, limp nodes and generally anywhere in the chest cavity. This area is called the mediastinum. Although these types of cysts are extremely rare, they are the most common lesion of the mediastinum area. But sometimes a person may never know he has a bronchial cyst.

Half of the people who get these cysts do not know they have them. Bronchial cysts usually go undetected unless a problem arises with the cyst itself. But there are some symptoms of this ailment. Chest pain, pneumonia and pleurisy are sings that a person may have a bronchial cyst. But the location of the cyst may also cause specific symptoms. For instance, if the airway has a cyst the breathing can become affected. The person may also suffer with coughing, respiratory distress and wheezing. If the cyst is located near the stomach area it can cause extreme stomach pain and ulcers and gastric symptoms. Along with these symptoms there can be a fever, vomiting, respiratory illness and weight loss.

Doctors sometimes misdiagnose a bronchial cyst. Because all of these symptoms mimic other medical conditions, it may be difficult to pin point the exact problem. Instead medications may be prescribed to eliminate the discomfort but there is nothing to address the main problem. So these symptoms may appear many times before a cyst is found. These cysts are usually filled with mucus or fluid.

If adults do not have any symptoms they are less likely to be affected by these cysts. Babies are the ones most at risk for serious complications resulting from a cyst. While a babies body is developing and growing, a cyst can form anywhere on the mediastinum area or the lungs. As the internal organs continue to grow the cyst can put pressure on them causing many problems. In hospitals today when a baby has a bronchial cyst it can be mistaken for respiratory distress and the child can be misdiagnosed. If the problem goes undetected it can be fatal.

These cysts can be found when certain tests are done. An ultrasonography, chest X-ray or GI can uncover a cyst. They can be one single cyst or contain as many as three cysts in a small cluster. Although they are generally only found in the mediastinum or lung they can also be found in the neck or abdomen.

In most cases there is a surgical procedure that can be done to cut away a bronchial cyst.  It is called a resection. This means that the entire fluid filled sac will be cut out and removed or the part of the cyst that is interfering with an organ can be removed. But for people who do not have any symptoms, nothing may be recommended. As long as no organ is being affected there is no need to remove it.


Another procedure that can be done is the draining of the cyst. The cyst is injected with a long needle and the fluid inside is drained out. Because of age or another medical condition, this method may be used for people who cannot be operated on.  Occasionally the cyst fills with fluid again and the procedure must be repeated.

For babies with a bronchial cyst, surgery may have to be performed immediately. But if the cyst has no symptoms the surgery can be postponed until the child is at least three to six months old.