Print version ISSN 0100-3984
MACHADO, Márcio Martins et al. Hypoechogenic hemangiomas. Radiol Bras [online]. 2003, vol.36, n.5, pp. 273-276. ISSN 0100-3984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-39842003000500004.
Hemangiomas are benign hepatic tumors that in most cases require no surgical excision if correctly identified. Ultrasound (US) usually shows hyperechogenic tumors although some unusual hypoechogenic hemangiomas have also been described. Fifteen patients with hypoechogenic hemangiomas, identified in a period of approximately four years, were evaluated prospectively. As the US findings of these hemangiomas were atypical, the final diagnosis was established after a combined analysis of US and helical computed tomography (helical-CT) findings. Helical-CT showed centripetal enhancement after administration of intravenous iodinated contrast media in all lesions. The levels of carcinoembrionic antigen and alpha-fetoprotein were measured in all patients who were also submitted to endoscopy and colonoscopy (or double contrast enema). No abnormalities were found in any of these tests. Additionally, US and helical-CT examinations were performed 8 to 12 months after the initial investigation in all patients, and no changes were seen in the appearance and dimensions of the lesions. There was associated steatosis in 14 of the 15 patients with hypoechogenic hemangiomas. The authors concluded that atypical hypoechogenic hemangiomas occur mainly in patients with steatosis and only occasionally in patients with nonsteatotic liver. In these atypical cases complementary imaging and biochemical studies, and follow-up tests are necessary to establish an accurate diagnosis.
Keywords : Liver; Hemangioma; Hypoechogenic hemangioma; Ultrasonography.