Intrahepatic biliary mucinous cystic neoplasms: Clinicoradiological characteristics and surgical results

Chao Wei Lee, Hsin I. Tsai, Yann Sheng Lin, Tsung Han Wu, Ming Chin Yu*, Miin Fu Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Intrahepatic biliary mucinous cystic neoplasms are rare hepatic tumors and account for less than 5% of intrahepatic cystic lesions. Accurate preoperative diagnosis is difficult and the outcome differs among various treatment modalities.The aim of this study is to investigate the clinico-radiological characteristics of intrahepatic biliary mucinous cystic neoplasms and to establish eligible diagnostic and treatment suggestions. Methods: Nineteen patients with intrahepatic biliary cystadenomas and two patients with biliary cystadenocarcinomas were retrospectively reviewed. Their clinico-radiological variables and survival outcome were analyzed. Results: Of the 19 patients with biliary cystadenoma, 16 (84.2 %) were female. 11 (57.9 %) patients had symptoms before operation with the most common presenting symptom being abdominal pain. Among the patients with available data, serum and cystic fluid CA 19-9 levels were invariably elevated and the CA 19-9 level in the cystic fluid was significantly higher than that in the serum. Loculations (84.2 %) and septations (63.2 %) were the most common radiologic findings. For treatment, 11 (57.9 %) patients received radical resection by either enucleation or hepatic resection, while the remaining 8 (42.1 %) patients underwent only fenestration of liver cysts. Radical resection provided a significantly better clinical outcome than fenestration in terms of tumor recurrence (p = 0.018). The only two male patients with biliary cystadenocarcinoma received radical hepatic resection and achieved a disease-free survival of 16.5 months and 33 months, respectively. Conclusion: Intrahepatic biliary mucinous cystic neoplasms are rare and preoperative diagnosis is difficult. Internal septations and loculations on radiologic examinations should raise some suspicion of this diagnosis. Complete tumor excision is the standard treatment that may provide patients with better long term results after the operation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 12 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Lee et al.


  • Biliary cystic neoplasms
  • Cystadenocarcinoma
  • Cystadenoma


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