First-trimester diagnosis of fetal hepatic cyst

C. Berg, A. A. Baschat, A. Geipel, M. Krapp, U. Germer, J. M. Smrcek, W. Sigge, U. Gembruch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fetal intra-abdominal cysts seen on antenatal sonography pose a diagnostic problem as they may have many etiological origins. We present a case of a hepatic cyst measuring 11 × 7 × 7 mm that was diagnosed at 13 weeks' gestation by transvaginal sonography. The cyst increased in proportion with the growth of the fetus. Ultrasound-guided needle aspiration of the cyst at 22 weeks' gestation helped to clearly identify the formerly displaced gall bladder and demonstrated the intrahepatic location of the cyst. The aspirated fluid was identified as bile. After aspiration the fluid reaccumulated rapidly. Shortly prior to delivery the cyst measured 75 × 44 × 46 mm. At 39 weeks of gestation a female infant was delivered by forceps (3610 g; Apgar 9/10/10 at 1, 5 and 10 min, respectively). Increasing cyst size and concomitant feeding problems prompted surgery on the 14th day post-partum. A large hepatic cyst was partially excised and marsupialized, confirming the prenatal diagnosis. The postoperative course was complicated by cholangitis, septicemia and recurrence of the cyst. Therefore Roux-en-Y hepatojejunostomy was performed in the second month of life. The postoperative period was uneventful and the child was doing well at the time of writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-289
Number of pages3
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetus
  • First trimester
  • Hepatic cyst
  • Liver cyst
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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