A Doctor's View on Cyst Diagnosis
Read the Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Cyst diagnosis depends upon the type and location of the cyst. While some Baker and ganglion cysts may be apparent on physical exam, ovarian and liver cysts are not. Ultrasounds and CT and MRI scans may be used in the diagnosis of a cyst. Read the entire Doctor's View
How do physicians diagnose a cyst?
Some cysts are easily palpated by the doctor, especially if the cysts are located in the skin or in organs that are readily palpable, like the thyroid gland. Imaging studies such as ultrasound, X-ray, CAT scans, and MRIs are very useful in finding cysts. In addition, needle biopsies are sometimes used to determine if malignant tissue is associated with a cyst-like structure. In addition, needle biopsy may be used to reduce the size of the cyst.