Spontaneous regression of liver hemangiomas: a single-institution analysis of 46 patients

Aydin O., Acunas B., Poyanli A., Rahmi Serin K., Ibis C., Ozden I.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY & HEPATOLOGY, vol.33, no.11, pp.1436-1440, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/meg.0000000000002069
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1436-1440
  • Keywords: hemangioma, hepatic, hyalinized, liver tumor, misdiagnosis, sclerosing, spontaneous regression, HEPATIC CAVERNOUS HEMANGIOMAS, FOLLOW-UP, SURGERY, MANAGEMENT, GROWTH, SIZE
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the nature of spontaneous regression of liver hemangiomas. Patients and methods The records of the liver hemangioma patients who attended the out-patient clinic between 1988 and 2018 were evaluated. The data of the 716 adult patients who were followed for at least 3 years with cross-sectional imaging were analyzed. Results Spontaneous regression was documented in 46 patients (6.4%). Twenty-eight patients had a single hemangioma (61%), eight (17%) had two hemangiomas; the other 10 patients had 3-6 hemangiomas. Of the 87 lesions in 46 patients, 69 actually regressed during the study. Twelve patients with more than one lesion exhibited discordant courses - one of the hemangiomas of a patient with multiple lesions regressed, whereas the other enlarged or remained stable. Eleven of the regressed hemangiomas exhibited enlargement first, followed by spontaneous regression. Fourteen (20%) of the regressed hemangiomas acquired atypical characteristics that would have suggested a malignancy had the original films been unavailable. Conclusion Spontaneous regression of liver hemangiomas is an underrecognized phenomenon. Enlargement should not be a straightforward indication for intervention because it may be followed by regression. A regressed hemangioma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of liver lesions suspicious for malignancy.