Cortical inclusion cyst of the ovary

by Emily Goebel, MD FRCPC
March 9, 2023

What is a cortical inclusion cyst?

A cortical inclusion cyst is a non-cancerous change that is commonly seen when the ovary of a reproductive-age woman is examined under a microscope. It is a small hole that forms from a break in the tissue on the surface of the ovary. Pathologists use the word cyst to describe any abnormal open space in a tissue sample.

What causes a cortical inclusion cyst?

A break in the surface of the ovary develops when the ovum (egg) is released during ovulation. If the break does not repair fully, a cortical inclusion cyst is left behind. There can be a single cyst or multiple cysts within the ovary.

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