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

Author: Komal Arora, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 14 November 2017, last major update April 2012

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

PubMed Search: Von Meyenburg complex[TIAB]

Cite this page: Arora, K. Von Meyenburg complex. website. Accessed April 27th, 2018.
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