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World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Oct 28;11(40):6354-9.

Imaging findings of biliary hamartomas.

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Department of Ultrasound, Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Shipai, Guangzhou 510630, Guangdong Province, China.



To evaluate the imaging findings of biliary hamartomas (von Meyenburg complexes, VMCs) and discuss the differential diagnosis with other related diseases.


Imaging findings of biliary hamartomas on ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MR cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)and hepatobiliary scintigraphy were retrospectively analyzed in six patients.


On ultrasound images, five of the six cases showed multiple small hyper- and hypo-echoic lesions with comet-tail echoes, especially when magnified by US with the usage of zoom function. In all the six cases, multiple tiny hypodense lesions less than 10 mm in diameter were revealed as scattered throughout the liver with no enhancement on CT. These tiny lesions were demonstrated to be hyper- and hypo-intensity on T2- and TI-weighed images, respectively, in three patients who underwent MRI examinations. MRCP was performed in two patients, and clearly showed multiple tiny irregular- and round-shaped hyper-intensity lesions. MRCP and hepatobiliary scintigraphy showed normal appearances of intra- and extra-hepatic bile ducts in two and one patients, respectively.


Imaging modalities are useful in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of VMCs. A correct diagnosis might be obtained when typical imaging findings are present even without a histological confirmation.

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