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What are cavernous hemangiomas?

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Quick Answer

Cavernous hemangiomas, also called hepatic or liver hemangiomas, are tangles of blood vessels that form noncancerous masses in the liver, notes Mayo Clinic. Most people with cavernous hemangiomas display no symptoms.

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Signs of cavernous hemangiomas may include pain in the upper right abdomen, feeling full after small portions of food, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting, states Mayo Clinic. Doctors do not know the cause of cavernous hemangiomas, as of 2015, and it is unclear why in rare cases cavernous hemangiomas grow larger and cause complications requiring treatment.

People between the ages of 30 and 50 and women are more likely to have cavernous hemangiomas, and women who have been pregnant or had hormone replacement therapy are more likely than other women to develop the condition, notes Mayo Clinic. Doctors diagnose cavernous hemangiomas with ultrasounds, computerized tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging and single-photon emission computerized tomography scans. Most people with cavernous hemangiomas don't need treatment; however, in patients suffering from complications, doctors may perform surgery to remove the mass, remove part of the liver if the mass cannot be otherwise separated, or stop the blood flow to hemangiomas. In very rare cases, doctors may recommend radiation therapy or liver transplants.

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