Chronic inflammation of the stomach is occasionally accompanied by the formation of numerous cysts about the size of hempseeds, which project above the surface of the mucous membrane and are filled with a clear fluid. This condition results from obstruction of the mouths of the ducts, and the consequent retention of the gastric secretion within the tubular glands. It does not possess any clinical significance (Handfield-Jones, Harris).
Solitary cysts of the stomach are very rare, and we have been able to find only fourteen cases recorded in the literature, to which we have added one of our own. They vary in size from a pigeon's egg to a cocoa-nut, and their contents usually consist of altered blood or of a pinkish fluid containing crystals of cholesterine. As a rule they form in the subserous tissue of the posterior wall or upper margin of the organ, but occasionally they develop in the submucous coat. In the former case the cyst appears to be external to the stomach, and exerts deleterious pressure upon the surrounding viscera ; while in the latter it may partially occlude the lumen of the organ or, by perforating the muscular tunic, project externally as well as beneath the mucous membrane. The cases at our disposal afford examples of seven varieties of cystic disease.
The sole example of this rare affection was recorded by Ruysch in the year 1732. It consisted of a small tumour of the gastric wall which contained hair.
These usually develop between the muscular and serous coats of the stomach on the anterior surface or near the upper margin. In the case described by Albers the tumour occupied the lesser curvature, and measured two and a quarter inches in length. Occasionally they become pedunculated, and sometimes muscular tissue is found in their walls.