What are Liver Hemangiomas?

 In Other Conditions

Liver Hemanigomes are a benign (non-cancerous) liver mass composed of tangled blood vessels; similar to the red raised birthmarks you may see on someone’s skin.

Why do people get liver hemangiomas?

The exact cause of liver hemangiomas is not entirely known, some people are born with them.

What are possible symptoms?

People do not usually develop symptoms.

In very rare cases where a hemangioma is >4cm symptoms may occur including, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, or feeling full after eating only a little amount of food.

Who is likely to develop liver hemangiomas?

  • Women are at a higher risk.
  • Pregnant women are at a high risk due to hormone elevations.
  • Women receiving estrogen hormone therapy.
  • 60-80% of liver hemangiomas develop between the ages of 30 to 50 years.

Potential complications?

Liver hemangiomas rarely cause complications and most of them will not increase in size.

What monitoring, and treatments are available?

  1. Liver hemangiomas typically do not require any treatment or monitoring if they are less than or equal to 5cm.
  2. Liver hemangiomas >5cm may require follow up imaging in 6-12 months to assess for any changes.
  3. If someone is experiencing symptoms, they may require surgical intervention, radiation, or a procedure to stop blood flow to the hemangioma (arterial embolization).

Where can I get more information?

For additional information, please seek further guidance from your primary care provider or a Gastroenterology and Hepatology specialist.

Curry, M. P. & Chopra, S. (2017). Hepatic hemangioma. In S. Chopra & K. M. Robson (Eds.), UptoDate.

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