Malignant vascular tumors of the liver presenting as liver failure and portal hypertension

Liver Transpl Surg. 1995 May;1(3):156-61. doi: 10.1002/lt.500010304.


We describe three patients referred for orthotopic liver transplantation with liver failure and portal hypertension who were found to have malignant vascular tumors: two patients with angiosarcoma and one patient with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma. Their clinical presentation mimicked decompensated chronic liver disease. None had tumor masses on computed tomography and ultrasonography. Massive tumor involvement of the liver was identified in the two patients studied by magnetic resonance imaging. Pathological examination of the explanted liver at the time of transplantation in one patient and autopsy in a second patient showed angiosarcoma. Laparoscopic liver biopsies in the third patient showed epithelioid hemangioendothelioma. The vascular origin of the tumor was established by histopathologic examination and confirmed with immunohistochemistry. Malignant vascular tumors of the liver should be included in the differential diagnosis of liver failure of unclear etiology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / complications
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / diagnosis
  • Hemangiosarcoma / complications
  • Hemangiosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Portal / etiology*
  • Hypertension, Portal / surgery
  • Laparoscopy
  • Liver Failure / diagnosis
  • Liver Failure / etiology*
  • Liver Failure / surgery
  • Liver Neoplasms / complications*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Vascular Tissue / complications*
  • Neoplasms, Vascular Tissue / diagnosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed