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foregut duplication cysts

Wednesday 15 October 2003

Definition: Foregut duplications are rare entities that include both esophageal and bronchogenic cysts. Foregut duplication cysts are malformations developing from the endoderm and mesoderm of the digestive and respiratory system in the early weeks of gestation.

Unilocular or multilocular dysontogenic cysts are most commonly thoracically located adjacent to the trachea and bronchus.

Foregut duplication cysts are benign mediastinal lesions derived from the primitive foregut, which gives rise to the tracheobronchial tree and the esophagus.

There are 3 types of foregut duplication cysts:
- bronchogenic cyst
- esophageal duplication cyst
- neuroenteric cyst

Bronchogenic cysts are the most common cystic lesions of the mediastinum and are usually accompanied by cartilaginous tissue in the cystic wall.

Neuroenteric cysts are esophageal duplication cysts that extend into the
spinal canal.

Duplications of the esophagus are the second most common site of duplication of the alimentary tract. Cervical esophageal duplication cysts occur in the upper one third of the esophagus and are the second rarest type of esophageal duplication cyst.

The location and size of the lesion determines the clinical presentation. These congenital anomalies can also be discovered as an incidental finding.


- bronchogenic cyst
- oesophageal duplication cyst (oesophageal enteric cyst)