Background: Intrahepatic biliary cystadenoma (IBC) is a rare liver tumour, which has strong tendency to recur and malignant potential as it can progress to cystadenocarcinoma (IBCa).
Methods: From June 2003 to December 2006, four patients diagnosed with hepatic cystadenoma were operated on our Liver Surgical Unit. All patients were females with median age of 51 years (range 45-63 years). Liver resections included three left and one right hepatectomies. In two patients, IBC was diagnosed by abdominal imaging and serum tumour markers but the rest of the patients were initially misdiagnosed as simple cysts, treated by laparoscopic fenestration and referred to our unit after cyst recurrence.
Results: In all cases, the pathology report was consistent with liver cystadenomas. The postoperative course was uneventful and the median hospital stay was 8 days (range 5-12 days). In a median 18-month follow-up (range 2-40 months), all patients are alive and free of recurrence.
Conclusion: Liver cystadenomas can be easily misdiagnosed with other hepatic cystic lesions. An aggressive surgical approach is recommended, due to their malignant potential and high recurrence rate after fenestration.