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What is changing in indications and treatment of hepatic hemangiomas. A review

Adriana Toro, Ahmed-Emad Mahfouz, Annalisa Ardiri, Michele Malaguarnera, Giulia Malaguarnera, Francesco Loria, Gaetano Bertino, Isidoro Di Carlo


Hepatic cavernous hemangioma accounts for 73% of all benign liver tumors with a frequency of 0.4-7.3% at autopsy and is the second most common tumor seen in the liver after metastases. Patients affected by hemangioma usually have their tumor diagnosed by ultrasound abdominal examination for a not well defined pain, but pain persist after treatment of the hemangioma. The causes of pain can be various gastrointestinal pathologies including cholelithiasis and peptic ulcer disease.The malignant trasformation is pratically inexistent. Different imaging modalities are used to diagnosis liver hemangioma including ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and less frequently scintigraphy, positronemission tomography combined with CT (PET/CT) and angiography. Imaging-guided biopsy of hemangioma is usually not resorted to except in extremely atypical cases. The right indications for surgery remain rupture, intratumoral bleeding, Kasabach-Merritt syndrome and organ or vessels compression (gastric outlet obstruction, Budd-Chiari syndrome, etc.) represents the valid indication for surgery and at the same time they are all complications of the tumor itself. The size of the tumor do not represent a valid indication for treatment. Liver hemangiomas, when indication exist, have to be treated firstly by surgery (hepatic resection or enucleation, open, laproscopic or robotic), but in the recent years other therapies like liver transplantation, radiofrequency ablation, radiotherapy, trans-arterial embolization, and chemotherapy have been applied.

Key words. Hepatic surgery., Hemangiomas of the liver., Radiofrequency ablation., Benign tumors of the lliver., Hepatic transplantation.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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