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Surgery. 1984 Oct;96(4):656-63.

Choledochal cysts in adults: clinical management.


The surgical management of 29 adults with choledochal cysts is reviewed with emphasis on clinicopathologic features, long-term postoperative results (mean 9.1 years), and factors affecting outcome. Clinical symptoms were characterized by abdominal pain, jaundice, and cholangitis. Coexistent hepatobiliary pathologic findings were more complex and frequent than those that occur in children and included cystolithiasis or cholelithiasis, pancreatitis, malignancy, cirrhosis with portal hypertension, and intrahepatic abscess. Associated pathologic findings and cyst type (type I-22, II-1, III-2, IVA-4) determined the operative approach. In patients with type I or IVA cysts, results of cyst excision were excellent in five of seven patients but results of cystenterostomy were excellent in only seven of 19 patients. The high prevalence of pancreatitis (33%) and cyst-associated malignancy (28%) were major causes of treatment failure. Cyst excision with Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy is recommended as the treatment of choice for adults to eliminate pancreatitis by pancreaticobiliary disconnection and possibly to reduce the risk of malignancy.

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