Follow-up of patients at low risk for hepatic malignancy with a characteristic hemangioma at US

David M. Leifer, William D. Middleton, Sharlene A. Teefey, Christine O. Menias, John R. Leahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the need for follow-up imaging in patients with a low risk of malignancy and with ultrasonographic (US) findings typical of hepatic hemangioma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A computer search of US reports completed between 1991 and 1994 helped identify 383 patients whose reports contained the word 'hemangioma.' One hundred eleven patients were excluded because the lesion's appearance was atypical (n = 16) or because the patients had a high risk of malignancy (prior history or current evidence of extrahepatic malignancy or chronic hepatic disease [n=95]). Fifty-nine patients were excluded because they were lost to follow-up (n = 41) or had clinical follow-up of less than 2 years (n = 18). The conditions of the remaining 213 patients with typical-appearing hemangiomas and a low risk of malignancy were analyzed. One hundred twenty-one patients underwent imaging follow-up or histopathologic confirmation. Ninety-two had clinical follow-up of more than 2 years (mean, 46 months). RESULTS: Of the 213 patients, four had benign lesions other than hemangiomas. One patient who subsequently developed a malignancy (neuroendocrine metastases from primary colonic carcinoma diagnosed 22 months after initial US) potentially had an early metastasis that was misdiagnosed as a hemangioma. CONCLUSION: On the basis of these results, the authors no longer recommend follow-up studies in their patients with a low risk of malignancy and a typical-appearing hemangioma at US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Angioma, gastrointestinal tract
  • Liver neoplasms
  • Liver neoplasms, US
  • Liver, US


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