Liver Cyst (Hepatic Cyst) > Should I Worry If I Have a Liver Cyst?

What causes liver cysts

The causes of liver cysts differ according to the type of the cyst:

  • Simple liver cysts: There is no known cause for simple liver cysts, but it is believed to be congenital due to a defect in the embryological development of the liver.
  • Polycystic liver disease: Polycystic liver disease is a genetic condition that results from a mutation in a gene called PKD-1. Multiple cysts develop within the liver and the kidneys due to such mutation. Such patients usually die of kidney failure before their liver is significantly affected.
  • Neoplastic cysts: Neoplastic cysts are tumors, and they can be cystadenoma if benign or cystadenocarcinoma if malignant. It is worth mentioning, however, that they are very rare.
  • Hydatid cysts: Hydatid cysts result from a parasite called echinococcus granulosus. They are parasites infecting humans through eating unclean vegetables. They form cysts in the liver which can be single or multiple.

Sometimes, liver abscesses can be considered as cysts. They are quite rare and can result from a parasite called entamoeba histolytica. It usually only affects the intestines, but in some cases, it can move up to the liver causing abscesses in it.

Written by Martin Davis