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Liver hemangioma

Specialization: Surgery

What is Liver Hemangioma?

Liver hemangioma belongs to the non-cancerous tumor category. It’s a collection of cavities filled with blood. Most often, the body does not form more than one hemangioma.Tumor doesn’t affect other structures and does not become malignant.

As a rule, it’s a small formation; its size doesn’t exceed four centimeters. Hemangiomas are divided into 2 types:

  1. Capillary – tumor is formed by dozens of blood vessels interconnected by tissue.
  2. Cavernous – dilated vessels accumulation; spaces between them are filled with blood.

What causes liver hemangioma?

Researchers don’t draw exact conclusions regarding the disease cause. Some patients have a hereditary tumor passed from a parent. For the most part, women aged 30-50 are susceptible to pathology development; in men, hemangioma occurs less frequently. Additionally, tumor formation catalysts include:

  • pregnancy – women who have had a pregnancy are more at risk. It happens due to active estrogen production.
  • hormone therapy – certain drugs impact on the body can provoke tumor growth.

Liver hemangioma symptoms

Liver hemangioma in 80% of cases doesn’t manifest itself. Doctor detects disease diagnosing other organs. Small tumors, as such, don’t have symptoms, however, require professional observation. Huge pathologies can cause complications creating the need for treatment. Common signals might look as follows:

  • appetite loss;
  • pain in the upper abdomen;
  • person quickly eats up even a small food amount;
  • vomit;
  • bouts of severe nausea;
  • bloating often occurs after eating.

Liver hemangioma diagnosis and treatment

Pathology diagnosis is made by means of imaging methods, in particular, the following.

  1. Liver hemangioma ultrasound tests with additional amplification – high-frequency contrast waves.
  2. CT and MRI.
  3. Angiography – blood vessels X-ray.
  4. Scintigraphy – scanning with radioactive materials – complete tumor image.
  5. Approximately 50% of hemangiomas are diagnosed in infants or between 2 and 4 ages. Over time, tumor may disappear completely or decrease significantly.

Small asymptomatic hemangioma without showing growth is simply controlled by visual methods. Diagnosis is made every six months or a year.

Liver hemangioma treatment has no medical ways. Liver surgery is required if necessary to remove the tumor – huge pathology causing pressure on the organs. Sometimes, doctors prescribe embolization – procedure consisting in clogging blood vessels. Thus, the hemangioma doesn’t receive nutrition and slows down in its growth.

How serious is liver hemangioma?

If tumor gets bigger, it can become a source of significant problems. Pathology exceeding four centimeters in size causes:

  • blood clots in vessels;
  • heart muscle dysfunction;
  • pressure on structures surrounding the liver.

Accordingly, the hemangioma rupture causes open bleeding in the liver.