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Hepatic haemangiomata: diagnosis and management.
  1. V F Larcher,
  2. E R Howard,
  3. A P Mowat


    Five cases of hepatic haemangioma are described, and a sixth (previously reported) is reviewed. Clinical features, investigation, and management are described to show the great variability of the complications and prognosis. Five children presented in the first 10 weeks of life with hepatomegaly; 4 developed congestive cardiac failure; 3 had cutaneous haemangiomata. One child presented at age 4 years with hepatomegaly and anaemia, and on investigation had features of chronic disseminated intravascular coagulation. Focal decrease or patchiness in hepatic uptake of technetium-99m colloid, and abnormal intrahepatic circulation was shown in all cases. In 3 children liver biopsy was performed to exclude malignant disease. In one patient there was spontaneous regression of the tumour by age 3 years. In 3 cases hepatic artery ligation was necessary to control congestive cardiac failure which had persisted despite treatment with digoxin, diuretics, and oral corticosteroids, a procedure which was without complications after up to 8 years. One infant with intractable portal hypertension, hepatic vein obstruction, and severe cholestasis died with persisting alimentary haemorrhage and intra-abdominal sepsis. One child aged 4 years showed no immediate response to hepatic artery ligation but the size of her tumour got smaller and the clinical features diminished after irradiation. These tumours cause considerable morbidity and have a high reported mortality. If congestive cardiac failure is not rapidly controlled, hepatic artery ligation should be performed.

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