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What is the diagnosis if liver spots are discovered during a CT scan?

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Quick Answer

Possible diagnoses when spots are found on the liver during a computed tomography or CT scan are hepatocellular carcinoma or noncancerous conditions such as hemangioma, hyperplasia or hepatocellular adenoma, according to a study published on National Center for Biotechnology Information. A definitive diagnosis requires additional testing, a physical examination and thorough patient history.

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Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common liver cancer after metastatic liver cancer, which begins elsewhere in the body and spreads to the liver, explains MedlinePlus. Hepatocellular cancer occurs more frequently in men and those over the age of 50, and is most commonly caused by scarring of the liver due to cirrhosis.

Hemangiomas found on the skin and on organs such as the liver are congenital and present as noncancerous growths, formed when blood vessels connect abnormally and create a lesion, as explained by the American Liver Foundation. These are more common in women and usually not treated. Focal nodular hyperplasia, another benign liver tumor, occurs most commonly in younger women. These are usually without any symptoms and are rarely removed. The least common benign liver tumor is hepatocellular adenoma, which is possibly linked to the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. Large adenomas may be surgically removed due to risk of rupture and internal bleeding.

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