Bartholins Cyst and Abscess

The two Bartholin's gland ducts drain into the posterolateral vestibule (Fig. 1A and B). Bartholin's duct cysts develop secondary to blockage of the duct and may become infected, leading to abscesses. A variety of aerobic and anaerobic organisms have been isolated from these abscesses, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and various bowel flora (1). Bartholin's duct cysts/abscesses are most common during reproductive life. A Bartholin's mass in a woman over the age of 40 always raises the question of a malignancy, and a tissue specimen for pathological examination is indicated. Most therapeutic options for treatment of a Bartholin's cyst or abscess do not lead to a surgical pathology specimen; however, if one is received, the Bartholin's gland and duct may be recognized by their unique mix of epithelial types; mucinous in the glands, transitional in the ducts, and squamous at the orifice, with some admixture of types in the ducts common (Table 1).

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