A hepatic hemangioma is a noncancerous liver tumor made of widened (dilated) blood vessels.
Liver hemangioma; Hemangioma of the liver; Cavernous hepatic hemangioma; Infantile hemangioendothelioma; Multinodular hepatic hemangiomatosis
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A hepatic hemangioma is the most common noncancerous tumor of the liver. It is believed to be a birth defect.
Hepatic hemangiomas can occur at any time, but are most common in people in their 30s - 50s. Women are affected more often than men, and usually have bigger tumors than men.
Babies may develop a type of hepatic hemangioma called benign infantile hemangioendothelioma (also called multinodular hepatic hemangiomatosis). This rare, noncancerous tumor has been linked to high rates of heart failure and death in infants. Infants are usually diagnosed by the time they are 6 months old.
Some hemangiomas may cause bleeding or interfere with organ function, depending on their location. Most cavernous hemangiomas do not produce symptoms. In rare cases, a cavernous hemangioma may rupture.
Signs and tests
Hepatic hemangioma is usually not discovered until medical pictures are taken of the liver for some other reason. If a cavernous hemangioma ruptures, the only sign may be an enlarged liver.
Babies with benign infantile hemangioendothelioma may have:
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.