Nineteen cases of choledochal cyst are reviewed. Two distinct groups of patients were identified. Patients under one year of age, initially diagnosed as having biliary atresia, had a higher mortality rate, a higher incidence of severe cirrhosis with portal hypertension, and associated atresia or stenosis in the biliary tree. The second group, presenting between 3 and 20 years of age with more classic symptoms, had mild cirrhosis without portal hypertension and had associated choledocholithiasis and pancreatitis. It is suggested that the younger patients had a congenital form of cystic bile duct dilatation and that the oder patients had an acquired form, perhaps related to a common channel with reflux of pancreatic juice into the common bile duct. Postoperative follow-up supports the current view that choledochocyst-jejunostomy with choleystectomy has a lower rate of long-term complications than does choledochocyst-duodenostomy.