Treatment for Polycystic Liver Disease

Polycystic liver disease is commonly known as a genetic disease, which means it is inherited from generation to generation. The disease creates a number of cysts, which may appear in different locations throughout the surface and interior of the liver, interrupting function. Swelling is common, which produces pain, though some individuals never experience any symptoms associated with the disease. Treatment for polycystic liver disease will depend on the stage the disease process is in, overall health of patient and whether or not the polycystic kidney disease is also present.

Clinical Trials

The Mayo Clinic is currently engaging in Phase II and III clinical trials using a new drug called Octreotide LAR Depot for the treatment of polycystic liver disease. Designed as an interventional treatment, the drug is also being studied for its affect on polycystic kidney disease. The clinical trials began in 2007 and are expected to be complete in 2010.


Patients diagnosed with polycystic liver disease may undergo surgery in an attempt to remove cysts or portions of the liver riddled with cysts when applicable. Some patients may undergo a liver transplant. The survival rate for partial removal of the liver (hepatectomy) are approximately 78 percent for a 10-year survival rate and 90 percent for the 5-year survival rate, but again, it depends on whether or not kidneys are affected or not, the stage of the disease when diagnosed and overall health and age of the patient.


In many cases, early stages of polycystic liver disease may be treated with blood pressure medications and diuretics, prescribed to control symptoms as well as to help prevent complications. Urinary tracts, common in those diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, which often accompanied polycystic liver disease, is commonly treated with antibiotics. A low-salt diet is recommended to prevent extra work in the kidneys and liver for filtering wastes.

Polycystic liver disease is commonly known as a genetic disease