Liver Cyst

What are liver cysts?

Occurring in almost 5% of the population, Liver cysts or hepatic cysts are fluid-filled thin walled structures. Liver cysts fall into several categories with varying causes, diagnoses, and treatments.

Simple cysts- Malformation of bile duct cells during the embryo’s development is its main cause. It is usually present from birth. They are the most common type of liver cyst and generally measure less than 3 cm in diameter.

Echinococcosis- It is a transmissible infection between animals and humans caused by a species of tapeworm. Found in the faeces of the animal host (e.g. sheep and dogs), humans become infected by ingesting the parasite’s eggs.

Cystadenoma and Cystadenocarcinoma- Having mean diameter of 12 cm, these represent benign and cancerous cystic tumors, respectively.

Polycystic liver disease (PLD) – It is a genetic disorder that is present from birth in which smaller cysts cluster together to form a single cyst greater than 20 liver cysts.

Some of the causes of the formations of liver cysts are infections by parasites, bile duct malformation since birth, genetic disorders, and sometimes those present since birth cluster together, they give rise to bigger cysts formations.


  • Bloating
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Sudden pain in the upper right abdominal region
  • Fever
  • Bloody sputum
  • Severe skin itching
  • Severe right upper quadrant and shoulder pain


  • De-roofing or cyst fenestration- It is done in the case of large cysts where walls of the cysts are removed.
  • Liver transplantation
  • Liver resection- Depending on the area covered by cysts, the doctors surgically remove that part of the liver.
  • Cyst aspiration- This is done in the case when cyst blocks the bile duct. A needle is used to drain the fluid in the cyst.