What is the role of radiologic studies in treatment monitoring of hepatic hemangiomas?

Updated: Jun 17, 2019
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Once the diagnosis of hepatic hemangioma is confirmed by radiologic studies, it remains uncertain whether follow-up radiologic studies are warranted to reassess the size of the tumor. In the authors' practices, patients typically undergo ultrasonography at 6 months and at 12 months after the initial diagnosis. Providing that no change in hemangioma size has occurred, long-term follow-up radiologic studies are probably not necessary.

However, there are a number of important exceptions to this practice. Certainly, patients with a new onset of abdominal pain deserve a follow-up imaging study. The same is true for patients who are undergoing treatment with estrogens or have become pregnant. Finally, patients with large hemangiomas (ie, >10 cm) may deserve long-term follow-up radiologic studies, perhaps annually, because of their probable increased risk of complications.


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