by Emily Goebel, MD FRCPC
March 9, 2023
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.
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.