What is Liver Hemangioma?
Hemangioma, pronounced “he-man-jee-O-muh,” is a benign (noncancerous) liver tumour made up of a web of blood arteries. These liver tumours, also known as hepatic hemangiomas or cavernous hemangiomas, are frequent and are thought to affect up to 20% of the population.
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WHAT IS LIVER HEMANGIOMA?
Hepatic hemangioma (HH) is the most common benign liver tumor. It consists of blood-filled cavities fed by the hepatic arterial circulation, with walls lined by a single layer of endothelial cells, a veritable chaotic entanglement of distorted blood vessels confined to a region as small as a few mm, and as large as 10 cm, 20 cm, and even 40 cm. The frequency is higher among adults, with a prevalent age at the initial diagnostic in the range of 30-50 years. According to published research, 0.4% to 20% of the population has HH.
The frequency of necropsy ranges from 0.4 to 7.3%, and all the writers concur that the incidence is higher than 7%. The frequency of HH varies widely in the general population and is frequently only accidentally found during imaging tests for numerous unrelated illnesses. According to all relevant studies, it appears that women are more vulnerable than men in terms of sex distribution, with a reported 4.5:1 to 5:1 ratio of female to male cases.
The signs and symptoms of a hepatic hemangioma may include:
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Feeling satisfied with a small amount of food (early satiety)
The reason why hepatic hemangiomas form is unknown. According to doctors, hepatic hemangiomas exist from birth (congenital).
Typically, a hepatic hemangioma is a single aberrant cluster of blood vessels that is less than 4 centimetres (approximately 1.5 inches) broad. Hemangiomas of the liver can occasionally get larger or develop in groups. Young children can develop large hemangiomas, but this is uncommon. The majority of the time, a hepatic hemangioma never grows and never manifests any symptoms. However, a small percentage of people will experience symptoms from hepatic hemangioma and need medical attention. The reason why this occurs is unclear.
The method for diagnosing a liver hemangioma
Most diagnoses are unintentional because the majority don’t result in symptoms. They might show up on an imaging examination done for another cause. The following imaging examinations can detect a hepatic hemangioma:
- Ultrasound with contrast. Body tissues are subjected to high-frequency sound waves, and the echoes are captured and converted into images or video.
- CT scan, or computer tomography. A cross-section of your body is depicted in images created by X-rays and computers.
Imaging with magnetic resonance (MRI). Images are created by a computer, radio waves, and a giant magnet.
How do doctors distinguish between liver hemangioma and cancer?
Imaging tests can usually distinguish between the two. To differentiate your hemangioma from liver cancer, however, they may need to conduct additional testing if it lacks normal characteristics. For instance, a hemangioma would normally not change in appearance over time, whereas malignant tumors of the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma) would. Metastatic cancer that originated elsewhere in your body and traveled to your liver would also be found elsewhere.
Should hepatic hemangiomas be surgically removed?
Unless they cause you issues, no. Your doctor might recommend interventions if your hemangioma seems to be expanding so that it doesn’t become a bigger issue. By obstructing or severing the hepatic artery, they can stop the liver’s blood flow (arterial embolization). Its growth may be slowed or even stopped by this. They can remove it surgically if it keeps growing or if it produces any symptoms or consequences.
Treatment for liver hemangioma
Usually, a hepatic hemangioma can be left untreated. But to see if it grows, your doctor might want to perform imaging tests on it once or twice a year. About one in ten times, that occurs. Why certain growths experience this and others do not is a mystery to scientists.
Liver hemangiomas are unresponsive to medication. You could require surgery to remove the tumor if it grows quickly or causes pain.
Another choice is embolization.
Complications of liver hemangioma
The majority of hepatic hemangiomas are unproblematic.
However, difficulties from hepatic hemangiomas are more likely to occur in those who are pregnant or taking medications, such as some birth control pills, that include the female hormone estrogen. It is still possible for women to get pregnant with a hepatic hemangioma, but they should talk to their doctor first. Hemangiomas are not carcinogenic, despite the fact that many people refer to them as tumors. There is no proof that persons with untreated hepatic hemangiomas can eventually develop liver cancer.
The most prevalent form of benign liver tumor is the liver hemangioma. They don’t have cancer. The majority of persons with liver hemangiomas are asymptomatic and do not need to be treated.
Larger or many liver hemangiomas might produce uncomfortable or painful symptoms, but liver hemangiomas seldom result in problems.
The best techniques to identify and treat a hepatic hemangioma should be discussed with a doctor by someone who has a suspicion they may have one.
Hemangioma, pronounced “he-man-jee-O-muh,” is a benign (noncancerous) liver tumor made up of a web of blood arteries. Hepatic hemangioma (HH) is the most common benign liver tumor. According to published research, 0.4% to 20% of the population has HH. The frequency of HH varies widely in the general population and is frequently only accidentally found during imaging tests for numerous unrelated illnesses. A liver hemangioma is a single aberrant cluster of blood vessels that is less than 4 centimeters (approximately 1.5 inches) broad.
Hemangiomas of the liver can occasionally get larger or develop in groups, but this is uncommon. The majority of the time, a hepatic hemangioma never grows and never manifests any symptoms.
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