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Liver Hemangioma


Disease: Liver Hemangioma Liver Hemangioma
Category: Liver Diseases
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Disease Definition:

A liver hemangioma, also called cavernous hemangioma or hepatic hemangioma, is a condition in which a noncancerous (benign) mass occurs in the liver. A tangle of poorly formed blood vessels make up a liver hemangioma.

During a test or procedure for some other condition is when most liver hemangiomas are discovered. Most people with a liver hemangioma never need treatment and they never experience any signs and symptoms.

No evidence has been found that an untreated liver hemangioma could lead to liver cancer despite the fact that knowing that someone has a mass in their liver could be quite upsetting.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


Most of the time, liver hemangioma doesn't cause any signs or symptoms. However, when hemangioma causes symptoms, they may include:


  • Lack of appetite
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
  • Nausea

In case someone experiences any persistent and worrisome signs and symptoms, a doctor should be consulted.


What exactly causes the forming of a liver hemangioma is still not clear, but it is believed to be congenital.

Usually, a liver hemagioma occurs as a single abnormal collection of blood vessels less than 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide. However, in some cases, it could occur in multiples or it could be larger.

A liver hemangioma never grows and never causes any signs and symptoms in most people. However, in some cases, it could grow and cause complications that require treatment. Why exactly this happens is still not known.

Factors that can increase the risk that liver hemangioma will cause signs and symptoms include:

Being a woman or having received hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms may increase the risk that liver hemangioma will cause signs and symptoms, in addition to:

People who are between the ages of 30 and 50 are more commonly diagnosed with liver hemangioma.

Estrogen, which is a hormone that rises during pregnancy, is thought to play a role in the growth of liver hemangioma. This means that women who have never been pregnant are less likely to be diagnosed with this condition.



If women who have been diagnosed with liver hemagioma become pregnant, they will face a risk of complications. Estrogen is the female hormone that increases during pregnancy; this hormone is thought to cause some liver hemangiomas to grow larger. A growing hemangioma may require treatment because it could cause signs and symptoms.

If a woman has a liver hemangioma it doesn't mean that she can't become pregnant. But to make a more informed choice, she could discuss the possible complications with her doctor.


People won't need treatment if their liver hemangioma is small and doesn't cause any signs or symptoms. In most cases, a liver hemangioma never grows and never causes problems even though a person may be worried about leaving a liver mass untreated.
To check the growth of the liver hemangioma, the doctor could schedule periodic follow-up exams.

If a liver hemangioma grows large enough to push on adjacent structures in the abdomen, it can cause signs and symptoms and may signal that the patient needs treatment. Someone’s individual situation will determine their treatment, such as the location of the hemangioma and its size, if they have more than one, their preferences and overall health.

Some of the treatment options may include:

Surgery to remove the liver hemangioma:
Someone may be recommended surgery to remove the hemangioma in case it could be easily separated from the liver.

Surgery to remove part of the liver, including the hemangioma:
In some cases, a section of the liver may be removed along with the hemangioma.

Radiation therapy:
In this method, to damage the cells of the hemangioma, powerful energy beams, such as X-rays will be used.

Procedures to stop blood flow to the hemangioma:
Someone may be recommended stopping blood flow through the main artery to the hemangioma. Tying off the artery (hepatic artery ligation) or injecting medication into the artery to block it (arterial embolization) are the two ways through which blood flow could be stopped. The mass will stop growing or shrink without a blood supply. However, because the healthy liver tissue could draw blood from other nearby vessels, it will remain unharmed.

Liver transplant surgery:
Someone may be recommended surgery to remove their liver and replace it with a liver from a donor in case they have a large hemangioma or multiple hemangiomas that can't be treated by other means. This is quite rare.


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