Published online Jun 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i23.3543
Revised: March 5, 2013
Accepted: March 22, 2013
Published online: June 21, 2013
Core tip: We performed a review of the recent literature, and through combining current consensus and recent advances, we developed an evidence-based diagnostic algorithm to guide clinicians in characterising hepatic cystic lesions. Serodiagnostic tests and microbubble contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) are invaluable in differentiating complicated cysts, echinococcosis and cystadenoma/cystadenocarcinoma when ultrasonography (USG), computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging show ambiguous findings. As a result, serodiagnostic tests and CEUS reduce the need for invasive procedures. USG screening of the liver and both kidneys combined with extensive family history taking remains the cornerstone of diagnostic decision making in polycystic liver disease.