Let's Start at the Beginning

Foregut cyst may start in embyro stage

(RxWiki News) Scientists are investigating the possible embryonic origins of gastrointestinal foregut duplication cysts, an extremely rare illness found in both adults and children.

Foregut duplication cysts, also known as gastrointestinal cysts, are extremely rare and sometimes form in adults and children. Adenocarcinoma, or cancer of the epithelium, has been diagnosed in four cases of foregut gysts. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung and colon cancer.

There is controversy over whether there is an embryonic cause of foregut duplication cysts. Researchers recently studied two cases of gastric-ciliated duplication cysts and focused on embryogenesis (the process of formation of the human embryo).

Their findings show that the cysts are lined with cilia, which suggests that they originally came from the respiratory diverticulum, from which the lungs sprang from the ventral foregut. This also offers a potential reason why these cysts do not always stay connected to the gastrointestinal tract.

The epithelium refers to several things, anywhere from the surface layer of skin to glands and tissues that line body cavities and organs. Cysts that have a ciliated epithelium have not been found to develop cancer. "Ciliated" means that the epithelium has small, hair-like extensions, or "cilia."

Further research will be done to understand the development of these cysts and how to diagnose them early enough to prevent occurrence.

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Review Date: 
January 31, 2011