Liver Disorders Community
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Mildly complicated liver cyst and slightly high AFP

Please can anyone give me some suggestions or information on how I should follow up, what tests to do next, or should I concerned at all?

40 years old female, no history of liver problems except the cyst.

2011 - Ultrasound found simple liver cyst during routine check up. No size was mentioned. The report just said "it's a normal finding and should be followed up annually".

2012 - Ultrasound showed 1.7cm simple liver cyst, otherwise all normal.

2015.9 - Wanted to follow up on the liver cyst after 3 years so I asked to do ultrasound again. This time report said "2.2X1.8X1.7cm mildly complex liver cyst. Some mural thickening or nodularity suggested". I became very concerned about the change, and asked to recheck ultrasound in another lab.

2015.10 - Ultrasound report said "1.8cm hepatic lesion consistent with a mildly complicated cyst. Its margin and contour are minimally irregular." I was referred to a GI doctor after this.

2015.10 - GI doctor ordered MRI with and without contrast. MRI report said "1.6X1.4X1.6cm mildly complicated (slightly lobulated) cyst. No associated abnormal enhancement. This corresponds to the recent ultrasound finding."

Liver function was normal. Non-reactive to Hep A, B, C etc. HOWEVER, GI doctor also ordered lab test for a few tumor markers. AFP came back at 5.1ng/ml, which is ABNORMAL. Normal range for the lab is <4.6. This again added a lot of stress to me! At the same time, I feel mild pain in lower right abdominal, which comes and goes, and is noticeable from time to time.

GI doctor said not too worry since MRI result was negative, and AFP is only slightly out of range. But I am VERY WORRIED. I will recheck AFP and MRI in three months, however the three months seem so very long without knowing what's really going on! Should I be concerned? Should I just wait for the re-check in three months or do something more right now?

Thank you all so much!

1 Responses
Avatar universal
Your doctor is correct in that the MRI imaging is the best way to diagnosis liver cysts. Monitoring is the standard procedure. And your AFP levels are only mildly elevated but this can be caused by generalized liver stress. For example, GI infections that cause collateral liver damage can occur without any serious long lasting effects. Hopefully your cyst will remain benign and simply require monitoring.
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