Liver hemangioma is a non cancerous (benign) mass that occurs in the liver. A liver hemangioma is made up of a tangle of blood vessels. Liver hemangioma is sometimes called hepatic hemangioma or cavernous hemangioma. Most people who have a liver hemangioma never experience signs and symptoms and don't need treatment. Liver hemangioma usually occurs as a single abnormal collection of blood vessels that is less than about 1.5 inches (about 4 centimeters) wide. Occasionally liver hemangiomas can be larger or occur in multiples. In some cases, they can grow much larger. Pregnant women or those using estrogen replacement, for example, run a higher risk of the hemangioma growing larger.
This is because estrogen is believed to fuel the growth of liver hemangiomas. These larger hemangiomas can cause symptoms. Women are more likely than men to develop liver hemangiomas. Women who are on hormone therapy to increase their estrogen levels are at an increased risk of developing liver hemangiomas. Symptoms of liver hemangiomas includes pain in the upper-right side of the abdomen, feeling full after eating a small amount of food, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, etc. Liver hemangiomas are usually found using an imaging test—such as an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan, or a single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan.
Most liver hemangiomas do not require treatment. However, if the hemangioma is large or causes symptoms, it can be removed surgically. In extremely rare cases, radiation treatments may be required to shrink the mass.The incidence of hemangiomas is 2–7% in the general population. Hemangiomas are the most frequent benign hepatic tumors and are usually found in patients aged between 40 and 60 years, more frequently in women. In 30–35% of patients the lesions are multiple.