Hepatic hemangiomaLiver hemangioma; Hemangioma of the liver; Cavernous hepatic hemangioma; Infantile hemangioendothelioma; Multinodular hepatic hemangiomatosis
A hepatic hemangioma is a liver tumor made of widened (dilated) blood vessels. It is not cancerous.
A hepatic hemangioma is the most common type ofliver tumor that is not caused by cancer. It may be a birth defect.
Hepatic hemangiomas can occur at any time. They are most common in people in their 30sto 50s. Women get these tumors more often than men and the tumors are often bigger.
Babies may develop a type of hepatic hemangioma called benign infantile hemangioendothelioma. This is also called multinodular hepatic hemangiomatosis. This is arare, noncancerous tumor that has been linked to high rates of heart failure and death in infants. Infants are usually diagnosed by the time they are 6 months old.
Some hemangiomas may cause bleeding or interfere with organ function. Most do not produce symptoms. In rare cases,the hemangioma may rupture.
Exams and Tests
Hepatic hemangioma is usually notfound until medical pictures are taken of the liver for some other reason. If the hemangioma ruptures, the only sign may be an enlarged liver.
Babies with benign infantile hemangioendothelioma may have:
The following tests may be performed:
- Blood tests
- CT scan of the liver
- Hepatic angiogram
- Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
- Ultrasound of the abdomen
Mostof these tumorsare treated only if there isongoing pain.
Treatment for infantile hemangioendothelioma depends on the child's growth and development. The following treatments may be needed:
- Inserting a material in a blood vessel of the liver to block it (embolization)
- Tying off (ligation) a liver artery
- Medications for heart failure
- Surgery to remove the tumor
Surgery can cure a tumor in an infant if it is only in one lobe of the liver. Surgery can be done even if the child has heart failure.
Pregnancy and estrogen-based medications can causethese tumorsto grow.
DiBisceglie AM, Befeler AS. Tumors and cysts of the liver. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 94.
Roberts LR. Liver and biliary tract tumors. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 202.
Hemangioma - angiogram - illustration
Hemangioma - angiogram
Hemangioma - CT scan - illustration
Hemangioma - CT scan
Digestive system organs - illustration
Digestive system organs
Review Date: 4/15/2013
Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.