Cystic Liver Lesions


Associate Professor of Radiology, University of Palermo School of Medicine, Italy


Cystic liver lesions can be classified based on their nature as benign and malignant. In the benign category are, among others, developmental and infectious/inflammatory cysts, while neoplastic cyst can be subdivided into primary and secondary. Developmental cysts originate from abnormal ductal plate malformation and consist of hepatic (bile duct) cyst, bile duct hamartomas, Caroli’s disease and polycystic liver disease. Infectious/inflammatory cysts include, among others, abscesses (pyogenic and amoebic) and hydatid cysts. Primitive neoplastic cystic lesions are cystoadenoma and cystoadenocarcinoma. Secondary lesions can originate mostly from mucinous tumours such as colon and ovary. The role of crosssectional imaging in the detection and characterisation of these entities will be discussed, with an emphasis on the differential diagnosis with CT and MR Imaging.