Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Ethanol Injection Associated with Trans-arterial Embolization of a Giant Intra-abdominal Cavernous Hemangioma: Case Report and New Therapeutic Option

J Gastrointest Cancer. 2021 Mar;52(1):381-385. doi: 10.1007/s12029-020-00568-9. Epub 2021 Jan 7.


Background: Cavernous hemangiomas are congenital hamartomatous lesions that originate from mesodermal tissue composed of dilated blood vessels. Abdominal pain and palpable mass are the most common presenting symptoms. The different types of treatment for symptomatic patients remain controversial. However, surgical resection is always the most preferred method when possible. To date, there are no reports of endoscopic ultrasound-guided (EUS-guided) absolute ethanol injection as a treatment for such disease when surgery is not an option.

Case presentation: A 19-year-old girl with giant cavernous intra-abdominal hemangioma extending to the hepatic hilum, also affecting the gastric wall and occupying the entire supra-mesocolic cavity, initially presents with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and loss of 20 kg in 1 year (BMI = 18 kg/m2). Percutaneous angiography identified a mass with arterial blood supply by the left gastric artery that was embolized. After re-bleeding, an alternative treatment with EUS-guided injection of alcohol was proposed once resection was not feasible without major risks to a young patient. This procedure was repeated 15 and 45 days after the initial treatment, with the ethanol injection of 25 cc and 15 cc, respectively. On the second and third procedure dates, there was evident regression of the hemangioma. On the third procedure, it was possible to identify all anatomic structures that were not clear on the first EUS. After 45 days of last injection, abdominal CT and EUS showed notorious regression of the lesion. Eight months later, abdominal CT showed only a remnant lesion in the hepatogastric ligament with 129 cm3 on volumetry (87% lower in comparison to the initial image), and the patient remains asymptomatic with BMI of 26. In the most recent follow-up CT, 4 years and 2 months after first treatment, the patient presents with a slight increase in the hemangioma-now with 183 cm3 on volumetry.

Conclusion: Transgastric EUS-guided ethanol injection in the treatment of giant intra-abdominal cavernous hemangioma can provide good outcomes without major complications and can be repeated if necessary.

Keywords: Absolute Alcohol; Angiography; Cavernous hemangioma; Endoscopic ultrasound; Hematemesis; Malnutrition; Stomach.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Angiography
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Endosonography
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Gastric Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional
  • Young Adult


  • Ethanol