Proposal of size-based surgical indication criteria for liver hemangioma based on a nationwide survey in Japan

the Japanese Society of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery

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Background: Surgical indications for liver hemangioma remain unclear. Methods: Of 510 patients undergoing surgical resection for liver hemangioma in 118 Japanese centers between 1998 and 2012, abdominal symptoms, diagnostic accuracy, and surgical outcomes were analyzed to propose size-based surgical indications. Patients were classified into four groups based on tumor size: Group A ≤5 cm (n = 122, 24%), Group B 5–10 cm (n = 164, 32%), Group C 10–15 cm (n = 124, 24%), and Group D >15 cm (n = 100, 20%). Results: Hemangiomas in Group A were most frequently diagnosed as malignant tumors (43.5%) due to the absence of typical imaging findings and with highest incidence of positive HBV (15.7%). Diagnostic accuracy was 98.4% in Groups B to D. Liver failure after hepatectomy was higher in Group D than in Groups A to C (3.0% vs. 0.5%, P = 0.02). Only one operative death was observed (0.2%) in Group D. Conclusions: In patients with ≤5 cm hemangioma, surgical resection can be indicated when a malignant tumor cannot be ruled out. However, surgery for 5–10 cm asymptomatic hemangiomas should be limited. Experienced hepatic surgeons should conduct hepatectomy for tumors >15 cm to avoid serious morbidity or mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017



  • Kasabach-Merritt syndrome
  • Liver hemangioma
  • Rupture
  • Surgical indication
  • Tumor size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology

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