alexa Spontaneous Rupture of Liver Haemangioma-A Case Report and Review of Literature | OMICS International
[Jurnalul de Chirurgie]
ISSN: 1584-9341
Journal of Surgery
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Spontaneous Rupture of Liver Haemangioma-A Case Report & Review of Literature

Shariful Islam* and Vijay Naraynsingh

M.B.B.S., Post Graduate Resident, D.M, General Surgery, St. Augustine Campus, UWI, Trinidad & Tobago

*Corresponding Author:
Shariful Islam, M.B.B.S.
Post Graduate Resident, D.M
General Surgery, St. Augustine Campus
UWI, Trinidad & Tobago
Tel: 868-797-4951
Fax: 868-797-4951
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: June 14, 2014 ; Accepted Date: June 24, 2014; Published Date: July 04, 2014

Citation: Islam S, Naraynsingh V. Spontaneous Rupture of Liver Haemangioma—A Case Report & Review of Literature. Journal of Surgery [Jurnalul de chirurgie] 2014; 10(2):181-183 doi: 10.7438/1584-9341-10-2-20

Copyright: © 2014 Islam S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Background: Abdominal hyperalgic syndrome in unresectable pancreatic cancer worsens the quality of patients' life. The goal of this article is to evaluate the feasibility of performing the left splanchnicectomy using a two trocar thoracoscopic approach.

Material and Methods: One patient suffering from intractable pain due to unresectable pancreatic cancer (stage IV) with liver metastasis underwent thoracoscopic unilateral left splanchnicectomy. The procedure was performed using only two trocars, one of 10 mm for the optic and one 5 mm working trocar for Hook electrocautery, scissors and grasper. To assess pain severity and the impact of this palliative procedure for pain relief, the patient completed Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale with a preoperative pain degree of 9.

Results: Surgical procedure time was 30 minutes. Pleural drainage tube was removed 24 hours postoperatively. There were no complications. Immediate pain relief (pain degree 0 to 2) was achieved after thoracoscopic unilateral splanchnicectomy, same level beeing registered at first checkup after one month.

Conclusions: Thoracoscopic unilateral left splanchnicectomy using two trocars is feasible in selected cases, decreasing substantial the pain and significantly improving the quality of life in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.


Hepatic hemangioma; Spontaneous rupture

Case Report

A 31yrs old female patient presented with three day history of sudden right upper quadrant pain which progressively worsened over the last 24 hours. She is a known asthmatic controlled by Nasacort inhaler and also a known case of polycystic ovary diseases using oral contraceptive pills over the last 9 years.

On physical examination revealed a young female in mild painful distress. Her mucous membrane was pink and moist. She was warm to touch with a temperature of 38.4°C and her vitals were within normal limit. Abdominal examination revealed moderate tenderness in right upper quadrant with mild guarding but no rebound tenderness.An USS of abdomen revealed a normal gall bladder with no peri-cholecystic fluids or gall stones with a normal CBD. However, a 7.77 x 9.42 cm cystic mass was noted in right lobe of liver and there was no free fluid (Figure 1). A CXR revealed right basal consolidation. Her WBC was elevated 26.2 and she was also anaemic with an Hb of 11 mg/dl. Her renal function as well as electrolytes were within normal limit, however her liver enzymes were elevated AST-600, ALT-1900, ALP-238, GGT- 166 with normal serum bilirubin and amylase level.


Figure 1: USS of abdomen: 7.7 x 9.4 cm cystic mass in Right lobe of liver.

After 24 hours her pain became severe and she became tachycardic with a pulse of 130 bpm with persistently elevated temperature (38.0°C). Her blood pressure and Spo2 was normal. There was decreased air entry at right lung base. Abdominal examination revealed marked tenderness with guarding but no rebound tenderness and there was sluggish bowel sound. Patient Hb had dropped from 10 gm/dl to 8 gm/dl. An Urgent CT scan of abdomen and pelvis with intravenous contrast revealed that the cyst (haemangioma) has ruptured with free fluid (blood) in Morrison pouch and in right Para-colic gutter (Figure 2). Subsequently patient developed moderate respiratory distress and was reviewed by medicine specialist. A Spiral CT of the chest-revealed mild right pleural effusion with fluid in oblique fissure but no evidence of pulmonary embolism. An MRI of abdomen was also performed which reconfirm the ruptured hepatic haemangioma. Patient was admitted in HDU and was managed successfully and discharged home on day-12.Patient had a high ESR of 39 and her liver function test became normal. Her serum alpha fetoprotein, CEA, Ca 19-9, anti-nuclear DNA levels were within normal limit.


Figure 2: CT Scan of abdomen- showing ruptured haemangioma with free fluid in right sub-hepatic space &right paracolic gutter.


Hemangioma is the most common benign tumour affecting the liver [1,2]. Hepatic haemangioma are mesenchymal in origin and usually are solitary. Haemangioma are composed of masses of blood vessels that are atypical or irregular in arrangement and size. Exact aetiology remains unknown [3-5].

Several pharmacologic agents have been postulated to promote tumour growth. Steroid therapy [6], oestrogen therapy, and pregnancy [7,8] can increase the size of an already existing hemangioma. Our patient was on inhalational steroid therapy for her asthmatic condition and was also on oral contraceptive pills for her polycystic ovarian disease.

Incidence rate 2% in USA & the prevalence rate at necropsy is 7.4%, usually see in multipara women, more female predominance and occur most frequently at age 30-50 years [1,2]. Our patient is 31years old and she has no children.

Hepatic haemangioma can occur as part of well-defined clinical syndromes. In Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome. In Kasabach- Merritt syndrome, Osler-Rendu-Weber disease, Von Hippel -Lindau disease, multiple hepatic haemangioma [9] have been reported in patients with systemic lupus erythematous. Suzuki T, Tsuchiya N, Ito K. Multiple cavernous haemangioma of the liver in patients with systemic lupus erythematous.

Haemangioma are more common in the right lobe of the liver, usually small and asymptomatic can be larger and multiple usually presents as Right upper quadrant pain or fullness, may presents as an enlarged liver or the presence of an arterial bruit over the right upper quadrant. Rarely, haemangioma may present as a large abdominal mass or other atypical presentations like 1) cardiac failure from massive arterio-venous shunting [10], 2) jaundice from compression of the bile ducts, 3) gastrointestinal bleeding from hemobilia [11] and 4) fever of unknown origin (12).

An illness that resembles a systematic inflammatory process has been described with findings of fever, weight loss, anaemia, thrombocytosis, increased fibrinogen level, and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Our patient presents with RUQ pain & fever, with elevated WBC, ESR, low Hb and she was not icteric and auscultation revealed no arterial bruie.

Large tumours very rarely rupture spontaneously. Patients may present with signs of circulatory shock and hemo-peritoneum [12,13]. Our patient initially present as an un ruptured hepatic haemangioma as confirmed by initial USS (Figure 1) and spontaneously ruptured on day -1 of admission without any historyof traumaand confirmed radiologically by CT scan & MRI (Figures 2 and 3).


Figure 3: MRI of abdomen confirming the hepatic haemangioma.

Routine laboratory tests - are usually normal. There could be thrombocytopenia or hypo-fibrinogenemia. Normal alpha-fetoprotein, CA 19-9, and carcinogenic embryonic antigen (CEA) levels bolster clinical suspicion of a benign hepatic mass lesion. Serum alpha fetoprotein, CA-19-9, CEA levels were normal in our patient.

Modalitiesused to diagnose it are Ultrasonography (US) 46% sensitivity [3], Dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) 66% sensitivity [14,15], Nuclear medicine studies using technetium (Tc) 99m-labeled RBCs [16,17], Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 96% sensitivity [17,18], Hepatic arteriography, and Digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Liver biopsy can help provide an unequivocal histologic diagnosis. Ultra-sonogram as well as CT and MRI were used in our case for diagnosis.

Most hepatic haemangioma are small and asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis, and they are likely to remain that way. Hence long term follow up radiograph probably not necessary providing that no change in haemangioma size has occurred. Finally, patients with large haemangioma (i. e, >10 cm) may deserve long-term follow-up radiologic studies, perhaps annually, because of their probable increased risk of complications [1, 6,8,19].

The management of a large (i. e, >10 cm) hepatic haemangioma is controversial .However, a literature search identified only 32 published cases of spontaneous rupture in adults without a history of trauma [1,6,8,12,15,19-30]. However, actual radiological documented before and after ruptured are not well documented. In our case we have radiological evidence before and after rupture of the haemangioma.

Treatment option includes surgical resection [8,17,27,31-33] surgical enucleation, arterial embolization [7,8,15,18,27,34,35], radiofrequency ablation, hepatic irradiation, and orthotopic liver transplantation. However surgical resection and enucleation are the treatments of choice. It has been reported that patient with hemoperitoneum who underwent surgical intervention the mortality rate was 36.4% [1]. In rare instances, once patient remained hemodynamically stable can be managed conservatively like ours. Patient are usually followed up with serial ultrasound. Our patient was followed up with serial USS and after two years of follow up there was no increase in size and she remained asymptomatic throughout her follow up.


Although hepatic haemangioma is common, however spontaneous ruptures are very rare and associated with a very high mortality rate. High index of suspicion should be kept for prompt diagnosis of this rupture. Early intervention should be taken to prevent a fatal outcome.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to report.


Patient’s consent is obtained for publication of this case report.


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