Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
What is a choledochal cyst?
Bile that is produced in the liver flows through increasingly larger channels (ducts) within the liver and finally into even larger ducts that leave the liver, pass through the substance of the pancreas, and then empty into the duodenum.
A choledochal cyst is a cyst (hollow outpouching) of the bile ducts. Choledochal cysts have been classified into several different types depending on where they are located and whether they can be seen as separate structures from the ducts (diverticulum-like); or whether they can be seen as a localized dilation (enlargement) of the ducts. Choledochal cysts are rare, occurring in less than 1% of individuals. The cause of choledochal cysts is unknown, but they are congenital, that is, present from birth, and, therefore, represent developmental abnormalities of the bile ducts in the fetus.
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