Tumours of the liver
Benign tumours of the liver
Benign tumours of the liver must be differentiated from malignant
tumours such as metastases or primary hepa-tocellular tumour and cysts or
abscesses. There are four main types:
Cavernous haemangiomas are the most common benign tumours of the liver.
Usually asymptomatic, they rarely become large and produce pain, enlarged liver
or haemorrhage. They may be detected at ultrasound or at laparotomy. Biopsy may
Hepatic adenomas are oestrogen dependent tumours generally only seen in
women. They are strongly associated with the oral contraceptive pill. Usually
asymptomatic, they may rupture causing intraabdominal bleeding and pain.
Removal is advised because of difficulty differentiating them from a
Focal nodular hyperplasia is also seen more commonly in women and
oestrogen plays a role.
Solitary simple liver cysts are rare but multiple liver cysts may be
seen in patients with inherited polycystic kidney disease.