Enucleation of Biliary Cystadenomas: a Review

Steven M. Strasberg, William C. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Biliary cystadenomas are very rare benign tumors which can transform into cystadenocarcinomas. The largest case series reported on 221 cases over 30 years from 10 HPB centers, i.e., about 7 cases per center per decade. The recommended treatment is liver resection. Enucleation of biliary cystadenomas has been done rarely. The purpose of the study was to determine the outcome of enucleation of these cysts, particularly the mortality rate and the recurrence rate. Methods: A keyword search was done using OVID followed by a search of the bibliography of papers describing the enucleation of biliary cystadenomas. Of 45 articles obtained, 25 were retained. The main reasons for exclusion were non-English language and review articles. Results: One hundred three patients in the 25 studies were treated with enucleation. Thirteen studies described prior treatments that had failed with resulting recurrence requiring re-treatment. The main indication for enucleation was large central cysts for which liver resection would be high risk. There were no postoperative deaths in patients treated by enucleation. Thirteen studies provided long-term follow-up in 40 patients, a substantial number given the rarity of the tumor. There were no recurrences or transformations to malignancy. Conclusions: Enucleation seems to represent a reasonable treatment technique for BCA, especially when a large cystic lesion is located centrally and/or would require a large liver resection with significant loss of parenchyma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2700-2706
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Biliary cystadenoma
  • Biliary mucinous cystic neoplasm
  • Enucleation
  • Enucleation of hepatic cyst
  • Hepatic cyst
  • Liver cyst


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