Liver Cyst: 18 Symptoms, Causes and Treatments You Should Know

A liver cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the liver. Liver cysts are relatively common. Studies have shown that up to five percent of the general population has at least one liver cyst. However, most people with liver cysts do not experience any symptoms and are unaware they have them. 

There are several risk factors that may increase your risk of developing a liver cyst. Liver cysts are more common in adults over 40. Family history also increases one’s risk of developing the condition.

For instance, obesity is a known risk factor for many chronic illnesses, including polycystic liver disease. Moreover, taking certain medications, such as birth control pills or steroids, can increase an individual’s risk of developing a liver cyst. 

Liver cysts are usually discovered incidentally when a person undergoes a scan for another reason. They may be found on an abdominal MRI or CT scan performed for unrelated reasons. In some cases, someone with symptoms suggestive of a liver cyst may undergo further testing, such as an ultrasound or a biopsy, to confirm the diagnosis.



A congenital hepatic cyst (CHC) is a rare and non-symptomatic condition that affects the liver in infants and children. This condition is thought to occur in approximately one percent of the population. The cause of a congenital hepatic cyst is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a developmental abnormality in the bile ducts during gestation. Congenital hepatic cysts are usually diagnosed early in life, although they can occasionally be discovered later in childhood or adulthood. 

Most cases of congenital hepatic cysts are asymptomatic and do not cause any problems. In some cases, however, congenital hepatic cysts can become large enough to compress adjacent structures or cause biliary obstruction. This can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, and weight loss. If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to serious complications, such as liver failure.

A congenital hepatic cyst is typically diagnosed during a routine physical examination or imaging study for an unrelated problem. Ultrasound is the most common imaging modality to diagnose congenital hepatic cysts, although computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging can also be used. In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.