, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 298-307
Date: 18 Sep 2011

Hepatic haemangioma—prenatal imaging findings, complications and perinatal outcome in a case series

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The clinical presentation of foetal hepatic haemangioma (HH) is highly variable, from asymptomatic to life-threatening.


The aim of this study was to describe foetal hepatic haemangioma and identify prognostic factors.

Materials and methods

Antenatal and postnatal imaging studies, clinical and biological records of infants with antenatally diagnosed HH (2001—2009) were reviewed.


Sixteen foetuses had one focal lesion, with a mean volume of 75 ml (5–240 ml). One had multifocal HH. Most presented as a focal well-delimited heterogeneous vascular mass. Four had associated cardiomegaly, five had cardiac failure. Eight of the nine foetuses with cardiac disorders were symptomatic at birth: cardiac failure with pulmonary hypertension (9), consumptive coagulopathy (8), compartmental syndrome (2). All received supportive medical treatment, four embolisation. Five of these died. The remaining eight had a normal cardiac status. Two became symptomatic after birth: one with a large porto-hepatic shunt and one with significant mass effect. Prenatal cardiac abnormality (univariate, P = 0.031), enlargement of more than one hepatic vein (P = 0.0351) and large volume (P = 0.0372) were associated with symptomatic disease.


Hepatic haemangioma associated with prenatal cardiac disorders, large volume and more than one enlarged hepatic vein have poorer outcome and require specific perinatal multidisciplinary management.