(See also Overview of Liver Tumors Overview of Liver Tumors Liver tumors may be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Cancerous liver tumors are classified as primary (originating in the liver) or metastatic (spreading from elsewhere in the... read more .)
In the United States, about 1 to 5% of adults have small hemangiomas that cause no symptoms. These tumors are usually detected only when ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is done for unrelated reasons (see Imaging Tests of the Liver and Gallbladder Imaging Tests of the Liver and Gallbladder Imaging tests of the liver, gallbladder, and biliary tract include ultrasonography, radionuclide scanning, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography... read more ). Such tumors do not require treatment.
Hemangiomas that cause symptoms are very rare. Symptoms are more likely if hemangiomas are larger than about 1½ inches (4 cm). These tumors may cause abdominal discomfort and bloating and, less often, loss of appetite, nausea, a feeling of being full after eating a small meal, or pain.
In infants, hemangiomas usually disappear on their own. However, occasionally hemangiomas are large and cause problems, such as widespread blood clotting and heart failure Heart Failure (HF) Heart failure is a disorder in which the heart is unable to keep up with the demands of the body, leading to reduced blood flow, back-up (congestion) of blood in the veins and lungs, and/or... read more . These tumors require treatment, which may include drugs (such as corticosteroids), a procedure to block the hemangioma’s blood supply (called selective hepatic artery embolization), sometimes surgery to remove the hemangioma, and, rarely, liver transplantation Liver Transplantation Liver transplantation is the surgical removal of a healthy liver or sometimes a part of a liver from a living person and then its transfer into a person whose liver no longer functions. (See... read more .
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American Liver Foundation: Hosts community education programs that give an overview of all aspects of liver disease and wellness. Also provides support groups, information on finding a physician, and opportunities to participate in clinical trials.