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Hepatic Cyst

more about Hepatic Cyst

Liver cyst

  • A Hepatic Cyst is a thin-walled "bubble" or cavity in the liver that may be empty or contain fluid.
  • Although there are numerous causes, there are often no symptoms.  The condition is usually picked up when a test is done for other reasons.  Generally, it is a benign problem that does not cause any difficulty and does not affect life expectancy.
  • Occasionally, Hepatic Cysts may become large or infected.  Treatment depends on the underlying cause.  Most often, no specific treatment is needed.  The most important thing to remember about liver cysts is that they are usually benign.  However, other diseases can sometimes look like liver cysts.  These conditions need to be ruled out.

  • Usually, liver cysts do not cause any symptoms.
  • Occasionally, if they become very large, they can cause liver enlargement, abdominal pain, bile duct infection, or obstruction of the bile ducts, causing the cyst itself to become infected.

  • Many cysts develop for unknown reasons, and some are present at the time of birth.  Some may be the result of abnormalities that occurred during fetal development.
  • Other causes of Hepatic Cysts include:
    1. Echinococcosis
    2. Polycystic Kidney Disease
    3. Caroli's disease
    4. Congenital hepatic fibrosis
    5. Choledochal cysts

  • Diagnosis is usually made when tests are being done for other reasons, allowing many of the cysts to be found by "chance."
  • If a cyst is suspected, many tests can be done, the easiest being CT scan or ultrasound of the liver.
  • The most important aspect when dealing with liver cysts is to rule out other diseases.
  • If necessary, a biopsy is preformed, or a sample of the fluid within the cyst is removed for analysis.

  • Having any of the above listed diseases increases the chance of developing a liver cyst.

  • No treatment is usually required. Most liver cysts do not cause any symptoms, and do not affect life expectancy.  The doctor may follow them to make sure that they do not rapidly increase in size.  Other than that, no specific therapy is needed.
  • If the cysts do cause problems, they can be surgically removed
  • Treatment also depends on what is causing them.  If a specific disease such as echinococcosis is the underlying cause, then the patient is treated for this and the cysts are carefully, surgically removed to prevent complications.
  • If the cysts become infected, they may have to be removed.
  • Antibiotics may be administered to treat the infection.

  • Infections
  • Bile duct obstruction
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Liver enlargement

  • Seek medical attention

more about Hepatic Cyst

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