Follow-up imaging in women of reproductive age for incidentally discovered simple cysts on ultrasound is not needed until 5 cm, as these are usually normal ovarian follicles. Simple cysts 5 to 7 cm in premenopausal females should be followed yearly. Simple cysts larger than 7 cm require further imaging with MRI or surgical assessment. Because they are large, they cannot be reliably assessed by ultrasound alone because it may be difficult to see the soft tissue nodularity or thickened septation at their posterior wall due to limited penetrance of the ultrasound beam. For the corpus luteum, a dominant ovulating follicle that typically appears as a cyst with circumferentially thickened walls and crenulated inner margins, follow up is not needed if the cyst is less than 3 cm in diameter. In postmenopausal patients, any simple cyst greater than 1 cm but less than 7 cm needs yearly follow-up, while those greater than 7 cm need MRI or surgical evaluation, similar to reproductive age females.
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