Giant liver hemangioma: Therapy by enucleation or liver resection

Hamaloglu E. , Altun H., Ozdemir A., Ozenc A.

WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY, vol.29, no.7, pp.890-893, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00268-005-7661-z
  • Title of Journal : WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY
  • Page Numbers: pp.890-893


Hemangioma is the most common primary tumor of the liver. The widespread use of ultrasonography (USG) and computed tomography (CT) has made the diagnosis more common. Although the vast majority of hemangiomas are diagnosed incidentally and are asymptomatic, treatment is still controversial. Surgery is the treatment of choice, especially in giant, symptomatic hemangiomas and uncertainty of diagnosis. Twenty-two patients (median age: 46 years) underwent resection (n = 12) or enucleation (n = 10) for liver hemangioma from 1989 to 2002. The primary indication for surgery was abdominal pain. Ten patients who were treated by enucleation were compared with twelve patients who were treated by liver resection. Mean tumor size was 90 mm with a range of 40270 mm. There were no statistically significant differences in tumor size, preoperative liver function tests, hemoglobin levels, and platelet counts between the two groups. Operative time was longer in the resection group, and statistically significant the difference was (p = 0.048). Blood transfusion requirement and blood loss during intraoperative period were higher in the resection group (p = 0.025, p = 0.01, respectively). There were three postoperative complications, I in the enucleation group (plevral effusion), 2 in the resection group (liver abscess and wound infection). There was no surgery-related mortality in either group. Although most hemangiomas can be removed by enucleation or liver resection with low morbidity and mortality, if the location and number of hemangiomas are appropriate, enucleation is the choice of the therapy. Hospital stay, blood transfusion requirement, and blood loss can be kept minimal by the selection of enucleation.