Epithelial splenic cysts are rare entities which surgeons may not have previously encountered. Their management is based on historical studies.
A 21-year-old woman presented with a cyst of the spleen that produced a high serum concentration of carbohydrate antigen CA 19-9. A partial splenectomy with removal of the entire cyst and preservation of the splenic parenchyma by laparotomy was performed and the patient made an uneventful recovery. A microscopic rupture of the wall of the cyst and blood degradation products in the fluid of the cyst were confirmed. A functional splenic parenchyma was documented 18 months after surgery. There was no infection during follow-up.
Partial surgical splenectomy with resection of the entire cyst prevents recurrence and preserves splenic function.