Liver & intrahepatic bile ducts

Developmental anomalies / cysts

Choledochal cyst

Last author update: 1 April 2012
Last staff update: 4 August 2020

Copyright: 2002-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Liver choledochal cyst[TI] free full text[sb]

Komal Arora, M.D.
Page views in 2023: 2,702
Page views in 2024 to date: 1,089
Cite this page: Arora K. Choledochal cyst. website. Accessed May 19th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Cystic dilatations of the biliary tree; can involve the extrahepatic biliary radicles, the intrahepatic biliary radicles or both
  • Classified into 5 types (Am J Surg 1977;134:263)
  • Classically presents with pain, right upper quadrant mass and jaundice, particularly in children
  • Cholangitis symptoms may predominate in adults
  • Usually women
  • 14% develop adenocarcinoma with increasing age
Diagrams / tables

Images hosted on other servers:

Choledochal cyst classification

Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Intraoperative view of choledochal cyst

Gross description
  • Often huge cysts
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Thick fibrous wall, often inflamed
  • Discontinuous columnar epithelium; variable squamous metaplasia (Can J Surg 2009;52:434)
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02