Splenic hemangiomas and hamartomas: MR imaging characteristics of 28 lesions

Radiology. 1997 Jan;202(1):166-72. doi: 10.1148/radiology.202.1.8988207.


Purpose: To determine the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging features of splenic hemangiomas and hamartomas, including their pattern of dynamic contrast material enhancement.

Materials and methods: The appearance of 28 lesions in 18 patients was retrospectively reviewed on T2-weighted images (16 patients), unenhanced T1-weighted images (18 patients), and dynamic contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images (17 patients). Seventeen of 23 hemangiomas and all five hamartomas were proved at pathologic examination.

Results: Of the 22 hemangiomas imaged with T2-weighting, 19 were hyperintense, two were isointense, and one was hypointense relative to the spleen. Dynamic gadolinium-enhanced imaging demonstrated a progressive centripetal pattern of enhancement in 19 of 22 hemangiomas. On delayed images, 19 hemangiomas demonstrated uniform enhancement. Of the five hamartomas, four were imaged with T2-weighting; three were hyperintense and one was hypointense relative to the spleen. All hamartomas demonstrated diffuse heterogeneous enhancement on images obtained early after administration of contrast material and became more uniformly enhanced on delayed images.

Conclusion: Splenic hemangiomas showed signal intensity characteristics and enhancement patterns similar to those described for hepatic hemangiomas. Since these features have been shown to reliably distinguish hemangiomas from other benign and malignant liver lesions, it may be reasonable to consider without histologic verification that lesions in the spleen with these imaging features represent hemangiomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Hamartoma / diagnosis*
  • Hamartoma / pathology
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis*
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Splenic Diseases / pathology
  • Splenic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Splenic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium
  • Gadolinium DTPA