Benign Liver Tumors

  • E. Biecker
  • H.P. Fischer
  • H. Strunk
  • T. Sauerbruch


In contrast to primary and secondary malignant hepatic tumors, benign liver tumors are relatively rare. Cavernous hemangioma is the most common, followed by focal nodular hyperplasia that is often solitary and nodular regenerative hyperplasia that involves the entire organ. Hepatic adenoma is rare but has displayed a marked increase over recent years, most likely due to the widespread use of oral contraceptives. Accurate diagnosis is crucial, since hepatic adenoma carries the risk of rupture and bleeding and, rarely, progression to hepatocellular carcinoma. Benign hemangioendothelioma of the liver is a rare entity in infants but could cause life-threatening complications. Angiomyolipoma, like inflammatory pseudotumor sometimes difficult to distinguish from a malignant process, is a very exceptional finding in the liver.

Due to advances in imaging procedures like magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography-scan and ultrasound as well as progress in immunohistochemistry, it is possible to make the appropriate diagnosis in a high percentage of patients without laparotomy and resection.

Once the diagnosis is established and a malignant process is ruled out, most of the benign liver tumors do not need treatment. Exceptions are lesions that cause local problems or pain due to their size, hepatic adenoma because of the risk of rupture and bleeding as well as the low risk of progression to carcinoma, benign hemangioendothelioma of the infant, when it is associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation or heart failure and inflammatory pseudotumor.


Portal Vein Thrombosis Focal Nodular Hyperplasia Cavernous Hemangioma Follicular Dendritic Cell Nodular Regenerative Hyperplasia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Rooks JB, Ory HW, Ishak KG, et al. Epidemiology of hepatocellular adenoma. The role of oral contraceptive use. Jama 1979; 242:644–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wanless IR. Micronodular transformation (nodular regenerative hyperplasia) of the liver: a report of 64 cases among 2,500 autopsies and a new classification of benign hepatocellular nodules. Hepatology 1990; 11: 787–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Trotter JF, Everson GT. Benign focal lesions of the liver. Clin Liver Dis 2001; 5:17–42, v.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mathieu D, Kobeiter H, Maison P, et al. Oral contraceptive use and focal nodular hyperplasia of the liver. Gastroenterology 2000; 118:560–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barnard M, Lajoie G. Angiomyolipoma: immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study of 14 cases. Ultrastruct Pathol 2001; 25:21–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cherqui D, Rahmouni A, Charlotte F, et al. Management of focal nodular hyperplasia and hepatocellular adenoma in young women: a series of 41 patients with clinical, radiological, and pathological correlations. Hepatology 1995; 22:1674–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ribeiro A, Burgart LJ, Nagorney DM, Gores GJ. Management of liver adenomatosis: results with a conservative surgical approach. Liver Transpl Surg 1998; 4:388–98.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mathieu D, Vilgrain V, Mahfouz AE, Anglade MC, Vullierme MP, Denys A. Benign liver tumors. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am 1997; 5:255–88.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Harvey CJ, Albrecht T. Ultrasound of focal liver lesions. Eur Radiol 2001; 11:1578–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dehner LP, Ishak KG. Vascular tumors of the liver in infants and children. A study of 30 cases and review of the literature. Arch Pathol 1971; 92: 101–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Biecker
    • 1
  • H.P. Fischer
    • 2
  • H. Strunk
    • 3
  • T. Sauerbruch
    • 4
  1. 1.Zentrum für Innere MedizinRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBonnGermany
  2. 2.Pathologisches InstitutRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBonnGermany
  3. 3.Radiologische KlinikRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBonnGermany
  4. 4.Zentrum für Innere MedizinRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBonnGermany

Personalised recommendations