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What are liver lesions?

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Liver lesions are noncancerous masses in the liver; they may appear in people without underlying liver disease, and classify as benign, meaning they pose little risk to patients' health. Liver lesions, like other cellular cysts and masses, come in several forms. They break down into two general categories of solid and liquid masses, and each category contains various types of lesions.

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In the group of solid masses, hemangiomas, focal nodular hyperplasias, adenomas, focal fatty changes and nodular regenerative hyperplasias comprise the most common lesions. Of those lesions, hemangiomas appear most frequently. They appear more often in women than men, due to fluctuating hormone levels. Focal nodular hyperplasia, orFNH, masses appear frequently too.Smaller lesions produce no symptoms, while larger masses may press on surrounding structures, causing pain and discomfort, according to the California Pacific Medical Center.

Adenomas and focal fatty changes appear least frequently among patients with solid lesions. Cystic masses are lumps filled with fluidthat break down into lesions arising from infectious and non-infectious sources. Common non-infectious masses include bile duct cysts, simple liver cysts and polycystic liver disease, or PLD. Pyogenic liver abscesses, amebic cysts and hydatid cysts derive from pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. In addition to pain at the cyst site, infectious cysts may produce symptoms of systemic infection, such as fever, chills and nausea.

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