Review article: the evaluation of solitary liver masses.

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Review article: the evaluation of solitary liver masses.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Oct 15;28(8):953-65

Authors: Bahirwani R, Reddy KR

BACKGROUND: The increasing use of imaging modalities has led to the detection of more liver masses. The differential diagnosis of a focal liver mass includes a host of benign as well as malignant conditions. AIM: To provide a comprehensive review on the commonly encountered liver masses, and to help guide an approach to their evaluation and management. METHODS: Pertinent literature that was identified through PubMed search and senior author's experience formed the basis of this review. RESULTS: While most incidentally noted liver masses are benign, it may be difficult to differentiate them from those that are malignant. Furthermore, some benign lesions have malignant potential. Certain lesions such as focal nodular hyperplasia, haemangiomas and focal steatosis are often distinctly diagnosed by an imaging modality alone. The less frequently encountered hepatic adenomas are diagnosed radiologically in those with the appropriate clinical background and the absence of radiological features to suggest haemangioma or focal nodular hyperplasia. CONCLUSIONS: A reasonable approach to the diagnosis, follow-up and management of liver masses is based on a rudimentary knowledge of their presentation, associated clinical and laboratory features, natural history and available treatment options. Most often, the so called 'incidentalomas' are benign and require patient reassurance.

PMID: 18643922 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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