Liver hemangioma

Ray Ballinger, MD, PhD

Straub Clinic and Hospital

rballinger at


51 y/o woman with elevated liver enzymes


CT US abdomen

Publication Date: 7 November 2003

History and Images

51 y/o woman with elevated liver enzymes on routine blood work

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The ultrasound study shows subtle 1.5 cm diameter area of mild hyperechogenicity in the right lobe of the liver. Blood flow is seen in this area on the color doppler image.

The three CT images were obtained pre-contrast, arterial phase and portal phase. The 1.5 cm lesion seen on ultrasound is of low density on the unenhanced CT image; shows nodular peripheral enhancement during the arterial phase; and fills in completely by the portal phase.


Liver hemangioma


Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumor of the liver occuring most frequently in women. There is no age prediliction. A small precentage present with calcifications. Peripheral enhancement with centripetal is classic for hemangioma but may be seen in other tumors. The conclude that a lesion is a hemangioma on CT, the enhancement must be equal to or greater than that of the aorta, persist with delayed images (enhancement was seen at 10 minutes delay on this study) and show peripheral globular enhancement. MRI is frequently being used to diagnose hemangiomas as signal characteristics can be used in addition to enhancement pattern.