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      Polycystic liver disease: an overview of pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and management

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          Polycystic liver disease (PLD) is the result of embryonic ductal plate malformation of the intrahepatic biliary tree. The phenotype consists of numerous cysts spread throughout the liver parenchyma. Cystic bile duct malformations originating from the peripheral biliary tree are called Von Meyenburg complexes (VMC). In these patients embryonic remnants develop into small hepatic cysts and usually remain silent during life. Symptomatic PLD occurs mainly in the context of isolated polycystic liver disease (PCLD) and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). In advanced stages, PCLD and ADPKD patients have massively enlarged livers which cause a spectrum of clinical features and complications. Major complaints include abdominal pain, abdominal distension and atypical symptoms because of voluminous cysts resulting in compression of adjacent tissue or failure of the affected organ. Renal failure due to polycystic kidneys and non-renal extra-hepatic features are common in ADPKD in contrast to VMC and PCLD. In general, liver function remains prolonged preserved in PLD. Ultrasonography is the first instrument to assess liver phenotype. Indeed, PCLD and ADPKD diagnostic criteria rely on detection of hepatorenal cystogenesis, and secondly a positive family history compatible with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. Ambiguous imaging or screening may be assisted by genetic counseling and molecular diagnostics. Screening mutations of the genes causing PCLD ( PRKCSH and SEC63) or ADPKD ( PKD1 and PKD2) confirm the clinical diagnosis. Genetic studies showed that accumulation of somatic hits in cyst epithelium determine the rate-limiting step for cyst formation. Management of adult PLD is based on liver phenotype, severity of clinical features and quality of life. Conservative treatment is recommended for the majority of PLD patients. The primary aim is to halt cyst growth to allow abdominal decompression and ameliorate symptoms. Invasive procedures are required in a selective patient group with advanced PCLD, ADPKD or liver failure. Pharmacological therapy by somatostatin analogues lead to beneficial outcome of PLD in terms of symptom relief and liver volume reduction.

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          Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

          Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is the most prevalent, potentially lethal, monogenic disorder. It is associated with large interfamilial and intrafamilial variability, which can be explained to a large extent by its genetic heterogeneity and modifier genes. An increased understanding of the disorder's underlying genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms and a better appreciation of its progression and systemic manifestations have laid out the foundation for the development of clinical trials and potentially effective treatments.
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            Unified criteria for ultrasonographic diagnosis of ADPKD.

            Individuals who are at risk for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease are often screened by ultrasound using diagnostic criteria derived from individuals with mutations in PKD1. Families with mutations in PKD2 typically have less severe disease, suggesting a potential need for different diagnostic criteria. In this study, 577 and 371 at-risk individuals from 58 PKD1 and 39 PKD2 families, respectively, were assessed by renal ultrasound and molecular genotyping. Using sensitivity data derived from genetically affected individuals and specificity data derived from genetically unaffected individuals, various diagnostic criteria were compared. In addition, data sets were created to simulate the PKD1 and PKD2 case mix expected in practice to evaluate the performance of diagnostic criteria for families of unknown genotype. The diagnostic criteria currently in use performed suboptimally for individuals with mutations in PKD2 as a result of reduced test sensitivity. In families of unknown genotype, the presence of three or more (unilateral or bilateral) renal cysts is sufficient for establishing the diagnosis in individuals aged 15 to 39 y, two or more cysts in each kidney is sufficient for individuals aged 40 to 59 y, and four or more cysts in each kidney is required for individuals > or = 60 yr. Conversely, fewer than two renal cysts in at-risk individuals aged > or = 40 yr is sufficient to exclude the disease. These unified diagnostic criteria will be useful for testing individuals who are at risk for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease in the usual clinical setting in which molecular genotyping is seldom performed.
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              Comprehensive molecular diagnostics in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

              Mutation-based molecular diagnostics of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is complicated by genetic and allelic heterogeneity, large multi-exon genes, duplication of PKD1, and a high level of unclassified variants (UCV). Present mutation detection levels are 60 to 70%, and PKD1 and PKD2 UCV have not been systematically classified. This study analyzed the uniquely characterized Consortium for Radiologic Imaging Study of PKD (CRISP) ADPKD population by molecular analysis. A cohort of 202 probands was screened by denaturing HPLC, followed by direct sequencing using a clinical test of 121 with no definite mutation (plus controls). A subset was also screened for larger deletions, and reverse transcription-PCR was used to test abnormal splicing. Definite mutations were identified in 127 (62.9%) probands, and all UCV were assessed for their potential pathogenicity. The Grantham Matrix Score was used to score the significance of the substitution and the conservation of the residue in orthologs and defined domains. The likelihood for aberrant splicing and contextual information about the UCV within the patient (including segregation analysis) was used in combination to define a variant score. From this analysis, 44 missense plus two atypical splicing and seven small in-frame changes were defined as probably pathogenic and assigned to a mutation group. Mutations were thus defined in 180 (89.1%) probands: 153 (85.0%) PKD1 and 27 (15.0%) PKD2. The majority were unique to a single family, but recurrent mutations accounted for 30.0% of the total. A total of 190 polymorphic variants were identified in PKD1 (average of 10.1 per patient) and eight in PKD2. Although nondefinite mutation data must be treated with care in the clinical setting, this study shows the potential for molecular diagnostics in ADPKD that is likely to become increasingly important as therapies become available.

                Author and article information

                Orphanet J Rare Dis
                Orphanet J Rare Dis
                Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
                BioMed Central
                1 May 2014
                : 9
                : 69
                [1 ]Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Institute for Genetic and Metabolic Disease, Radboud university medical center, Geert Grooteplein-Zuid 10, P.O. Box 9101, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                Copyright © 2014 Cnossen and Drenth; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.



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