Choledochal Cyst: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/20/2020

A choledochal cyst is a rare condition. It is a cyst (hollow outpouching) of the bile ducts. There are several different types of choledochal cysts.

Signs and symptoms of a choledochal cyst are related to an obstruction of the bile ducts and a buildup of bile. Resultant symptoms and signs include

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

  • soft mass that can be felt in the upper right portion of the belly,
  • pale or clay-colored stools (feces),
  • fever, or
  • nausea and vomiting.

Cause of a choledochal cyst

The cause of choledochal cysts is unknown, but they are congenital, or present from birth, and thus represent developmental abnormalities of the bile ducts in the fetus.

Other choledochal cyst symptoms and signs

  • Abdominal Pain in the Upper-Right Quadrant
  • Fever
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Pale or Clay-Colored Stools (Feces)
  • Soft Mass That Can Be Felt in the Upper Right Portion of the Belly
  • Yellow Color to the Whites of the Eyes and Skin (Jaundice)


Pancreatitis is inflammation of an organ in the abdomen called the pancreas. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.