CT and MR imaging characteristics of infantile hepatic hemangioendothelioma

Eur J Radiol. 2010 Nov;76(2):e24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2010.05.027. Epub 2010 Jun 23.


Aim: This study aims to analyze computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging features of infantile hepatic hemangioendotheliomas before and after treatment.

Materials and methods: CT and MR examinations of seven infants with biopsy proven hepatic hemangioendotheliomas were retrospectively analyzed. The distribution, number, size, imaging appearance, enhancement pattern and post-treatment changes of the tumors were evaluated.

Results: A total of 153 hepatic hemangioendotheliomas were detected on CT (111) and MR (42) imaging. In six infants, 109/111 (98.2%) tumors were hypodense and 2/111 (1.8%) lesions contained calcification on unenhanced CT. On MR imaging, all 42 lesions in one infant were heterogeneously T1-hypointense and T2-hyperintense compared to the normal liver parenchyma. Contrast-enhanced CT and MRI showed peripheral rim (51.6%), uniform (48.4%), fibrillary (33.3%), and nodular (28.8%) contrast enhancement in the hepatic arterial phase. Homogeneous (100%), rim (98.2%) and mixed enhancement patterns were noted in tumors <1.0cm, >2.0cm and 1.0-2.0cm in diameter respectively in the hepatic arterial phase. In three patients who underwent steroid therapy, follow-up CT examination demonstrated tumor size reduction and increased intra-tumoral calcification in two patients.

Conclusion: Infantile hepatic hemangioendotheliomas show some typical imaging features and size-dependent pattern of contrast enhancement on CT and MR imaging, which allow accurate imaging diagnosis and post-treatment evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hemangioendothelioma / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*