What is the role of arterial embolization in the treatment 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

Surgical resection may not be possible in certain cases because of the massive or diffuse nature of the lesion, its proximity to vascular structures, or the patient's comorbidities. Arterial embolization is an option in such circumstances. Branches of the hepatic artery can be embolized with polyvinyl alcohol and other substances. [61, 62, 63] One report described 26 patients with symptomatic giant hemangiomas who underwent successful embolization with bleomycin mixed with lipiodol. [64]

Embolization results in shrinking of the tumor, thereby minimizing the risk of complications. Pain, fever, and nongranulomatous arteritis with eosinophilic infiltration are recognized complications of this procedure.

The long-term success rate of embolization (without subsequent surgical resection) is not well studied.


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