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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 18, Issue 11, Pages 666-670

Management of Polycystic Liver Disease

Justin Cheung,1 Charles H Scudamore,2 and Eric M Yoshida1

1Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 19 July 2004; Accepted 8 September 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polycystic liver disease (PCLD) is characterized by multiple cysts throughout the liver. Patients may develop chronic intractable symptoms that may be debilitating. Others may develop medical complications that necessitate intervention. There is a variety of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for symptomatic or complicated PCLD, which range from cyst aspiration and fenestration to liver transplantation. Studies have described variable efficacy and morbidity. Currently, there are no guidelines for the management of PCLD patients and the optimal intervention is controversial. This article reviews the pathogenesis, classification and spectrum of treatment options for PCLD.