Liver transplantation for adult polycystic liver disease

Hepatology. 1998 Aug;28(2):412-5. doi: 10.1002/hep.510280218.


Polycystic liver disease, commonly associated with polycystic kidney disease, can result in massive hepatomegaly and debilitating symptoms. Surgical intervention for symptomatic polycystic liver disease has been associated with significant morbidity and inconsistent long-term palliation; it is more appropriate in patients with a single dominant cyst or cysts which is/are confined to one lobe. At our institution, nine patients have undergone orthotopic liver transplantation for symptomatic hepatic cysts with excellent long-term results and minimal morbidity and mortality. Surgical candidates were selected based on severe limitations in daily activities and on sequelae of hepatic cystic involvement. Other factors considered were the extent and pattern of hepatic cystic disease, the degree of hepatic and renal dysfunction, and prior surgical intervention. Three patients (33%) required combined liver and kidney transplantation because of renal cystic involvement with renal insufficiency. The one-year survival rate was 89% with excellent symptomatic relief and improved quality of life in all the surviving patients. One death occurred in a significantly malnourished 62-year-old female. Complications included one case each of hepatic artery thrombosis requiring retransplantation, biliary leak necessitating biliary reconstruction, and postoperative bleeding requiring re-exploration. The mean hospital stay was 23 days and the mean intraoperative blood transfusion requirement was 18 units. Our experience demonstrates that appropriately selected patients with extensive hepatic involvement with adult polycystic liver disease can have an excellent outcome with transplantation, with morbidity comparable with other surgical options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging
  • Cysts / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Diseases / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Reoperation
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome