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Rare biliary cystic tumors: a case series of biliary cystadenomas and cystadenocarcinoma

Abhirup Banerjee, Sudeep R. Shah, Abhiyutthan Singh, Anand Joshi, Devendra Desai


Cystic lesions of the liver are common and a major proportion is formed by parasitic cysts and simple cysts. Biliary cystic tumors (BCTs), namely biliary cystadenoma (BCA) and biliary cystadenocarcinoma (BCAC), are rare tumors which usually arise from the intrahepatic biliary tree. BCAs have malignant potential and are difficult to differentiate from BCAC pre-operatively on radiological imaging. Here we have presented 4 patients with BCTs and reviewed the literature pertaining to them.The data of four patients with BCA/BCAC diagnosed and treated at our institute were retrieved from our database and records were reviewed for age, sex, history, imaging, surgery, pathology and follow-up. Mean age of the patients was 53.5 years (range 30-71 years). Two male and two female patients presented with abdominal pain, of which one male patient had pancreatitis at diagnosis. Characteristic features were seen on pre-operative imaging (cystic lesions with internal septations) and biliary communication was identified in the patient with pancreatitis. Three patients were diagnosed with a BCA on final histology, while one patient had a BCAC. Following surgical resection, all the patients are asymptomatic and disease free with a mean follow-up of 24 months (range 10-40 months). In conclusion, BCTs should be suspected in the presence of a well-encapsulated, cystic hepatic lesion with internal septations. Although pre-operative distinction between BCA and BCAC is difficult, the lesion, whenever possible, should be completely resected as long-term outcomes are good, especially with BCA.

Key words. Biliary cystadenoma, Biliary cystadenocarcinoma, Biliary cystic tumors, Rare liver tumors

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

ALEH Hepatología CASL ACEF Médica Sur
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