Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts - nontumor
Developmental anomalies / cysts
Von Meyenburg complex

Topic Completed: 1 April 2012

Revised: 22 January 2019, last major update April 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Von Meyenburg complex[TIAB]

Komal Arora, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 7,234
Page views in 2019 to date: 6,549
Cite this page: Arora K. Von Meyenburg complex. website. Accessed October 18th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Also called bile duct hamartoma or microhamartoma
  • Incidental finding in 6% of adults and 1% of children at autopsy; found in 1% of all liver needle biopsies
  • No clinical significance, although may resemble liver metastases to surgeons
  • Type of ductal plate malformation, due to incomplete involution of embryonic bile duct remnants
  • Associated with other ductal plate malformations such as congenital hepatic fibrosis and Caroli disease; also autosomal dominant polycystic hepatorenal disease
  • Rarely associated with neoplastic transformation to hyperplasia, adenoma, cholangiocarcinoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2000;24:1131, Arch Pathol Lab Med 2000;124:1704)
Gross description
  • Single or multiple (20% have 4+ nodules) well circumscribed nodules, subcapsular, gray white, occasionally green; often less than 5 mm
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:

Bile duct hamartoma

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Periportal small clusters of modestly dilated bile ducts, often angulated, in fibrous stroma
  • May contain intraluminal bile
  • Epithelial cells are bland
  • Usually no / minimal inflammatory infiltrate, no atypia
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Periportal cluster of dilated bile ducts

Dilated bile ducts in fibrous stroma (figure 3)

Positive stains
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