Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Polycystic liver disease is a well described manifestation of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Biliary tract complications are less well recognized. We report a 50-year single-center experience of 1007 patients, which raised a hypothesis that ADPKD is associated with biliary tract disease. We tested this hypothesis using all England Hospital Episode Statistics data (1998-2012), within which we identified 23,454 people with ADPKD and 6,412,754 hospital controls. Hospitalization rates for biliary tract disease, serious liver complications, and a range of other known ADPKD manifestations were adjusted for potential confounders. Compared with non-ADPKD hospital controls, those with ADPKD had higher rates of admission for biliary tract disease (rate ratio [RR], 2.24; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.16 to 2.33) and serious liver complications (RR, 4.67; 95% CI, 4.35 to 5.02). In analyses restricted to those on maintenance dialysis or with a kidney transplant, RRs attenuated substantially, but ADPKD remained associated with biliary tract disease (RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.31) and perhaps with serious liver complications (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.33). The ADPKD versus non-ADPKD RRs for biliary tract disease were larger for men than women (heterogeneity P<0.001), but RRs for serious liver complications appeared higher in women (heterogeneity P<0.001). Absolute excess risk of biliary tract disease associated with ADPKD was larger than that for serious liver disease, cerebral aneurysms, and inguinal hernias but less than that for urinary tract infections. Overall, biliary tract disease seems to be a distinct and important extrarenal complication of ADPKD.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Soc Nephrol

Publication Date





2738 - 2748


biliary tract, complications, infections, liver, outcomes, polycystic kidney disease, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biliary Tract Diseases, Case-Control Studies, England, Female, Hernia, Inguinal, Hospitalization, Humans, Intracranial Aneurysm, Kidney Transplantation, Liver Diseases, Male, Middle Aged, Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant, Renal Dialysis, Sex Factors, Urinary Tract Infections, Young Adult