Daily Bolus of LR: Hepatic Hemangioma

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October 4, 2011 by dailybolusoflr

Hepatic Hemangioma


As the use of abdominal CT continues to rise, the discovery of incidental findings such as hepatic hemangiomas continues to rise as well.  Practitioners need to be prepared to discuss these findings with their patients.


Hepatic hemangiomas are the most common benign tumors found in the liver.  Hemangiomas are thought to be congenitally abnormal blood vessels that are irregular or larger than normal.  They are typically solitary and the presence of multiple masses should raise concern for another etiology.  They are most commonly found during evaluation for another concern.


Hemangiomas are typically small and only when large do they cause symptoms.  Hemangiomas over 4cm cause feelings of fullness or pain in about 40% of patients while 10cm and over can cause symptoms in up to 90% of patients.


Patients should be informed of the finding, but reassured as to the benign nature of these tumors.  They do not have malignant potential, but should be followed with ultrasound at 6 and 12 months.  If the lesion is stable, most practitioners will only follow at extended intervals.


Ref: Surg Clin North Am. 2010 Aug;90(4):719-35.





Linda Regan, MD FACEP
Program Director, Emergency Medicine Residency
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
1830 East Monument Street
Suite 6-110
Baltimore, MD 21287

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