Complications arising in simple and polycystic liver cysts

Christian Macutkiewicz, Ricci Plastow, Basil A Ammori, David J Sherlock, Derek A O'Reilly, Department of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery, North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester M8 5RB, United Kingdom.
World Journal of Hepatology 12/2012; 4(12):406-11. DOI: 10.4254/wjh.v4.i12.406
Source: PubMed


Liver cysts are common, affecting 5%-10% of the population. Most are asymptomatic, however 5% of patients develop symptoms, sometimes due to complications and will require intervention. There is no consensus on their management because complications are so uncommon. The aim of this study was to perform a collected review of how a series of complications were managed at our institutions. Six different patients presenting with rare complications of liver cysts were obtained from Hepatobiliary Units in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. History and radiological imaging were obtained from case notes and computerised radiology. As a result, 1 patient admitted with inferior vena cava obstruction was managed by cyst aspiration and lanreotide; 1 patient with common bile duct obstruction was first managed by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and stenting, followed by open fenestration; 1 patient with ruptured cysts and significant medical co-morbidities was managed by percutaneous drainage; 1 patient with portal vein occlusion and varices was managed by open liver resection; 1 patient with infected cysts was treated with intravenous antibiotics and is awaiting liver transplantation. The final patient with a simple liver cyst mimicking a hydatid was managed by open liver resection. In conclusion, complications of cystic liver disease are rare, and we have demonstrated in this series that both operative and non-operative strategies have defined roles in management. The mainstays of treatment are either aspiration/sclerotherapy or, alternatively laparoscopic fenestration. Medical management with somatostatin analogues is a potentially new and exciting treatment option but requires further study.

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    • "These abovementioned complications lead to development liver fibrosis. Secondary complications of portal hypertension are the result of severe liver fibrosis such as esophageal varices, splenomegaly and transudative ascites may develop, but advanced fibrosis is a rare event [26]. Typically these features are seen in the elderly. "
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