Liver mass causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Nawal Muazam M.D.[2]; Suveenkrishna Pothuru, M.B,B.S. [3]; Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [4]


The most common cause of a liver mass is hepatocellular carcinoma. Common causes of benign liver mass, include: hepatic hemangioma, focal nodular hyperplasia, hepatic adenoma, idiopathic noncirrhotic portal hypertension (including nodular regenerative hyperplasia and regenerative nodules). Common causes of malignant liver masses, include: hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and metastatic disease.


Common causes of liver mass incude:[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

Common causes of liver mass Solid Cystic Association with liver disease Malignant potential of transformation
Hepatic cellular carcinoma + - + +
Cholangiocarcinoma + - + +
Hepatic Adenoma + - - +
Focal nodular hyperplasia + - - -
Liver hemangioma + - - -
Angiomyolipoma + - - -
Macroregenerative/dysplastic nodule + - + +
Fibrolemellar hepatocellular carcinoma + - - +
Metastatic cancer + - - +
Focal fatty infiltration and focal fat sparing + - - -
Inflammatory pseudotumor + - - -
Mesenchymal hamartoma + - - -
Hepatic abscess + + - -
Echinococcal cystic disease - + - -
Simple cyst - + - -
Polycystic liver disease - + - -
Cyst adenoma - + - +
Cyst adenocarcinoma - + - +
Choledochal cysts (type IV and V) - + - +

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Hepatic artery aneurysm
Chemical / poisoning No underlying causes
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect No underlying causes
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine No underlying causes
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Choledochal cyst
Genetic Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, Caroli disease, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Familial adenomatous polyposis
Hematologic No underlying causes
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease Amoebic liver abscess, Pyogenic liver abscess, Hydatid cyst, Alveolar hydatid disease, Pericholecystic abscess, Empyema gallbladder, Subhepatic abscess, Subphrenic abscess, Tuberculosis
Musculoskeletal / Ortho Sarcoidosis
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional / Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Benign: Cystadenoma, Hepatocellular adenoma, Hepatic hemangioma, Hepatic angiomyolipoma, Hepatoblastoma, Primary hepatic lymphoma, Focal nodular hyperplasia, Nodular regenerative hyperplasia, Teratoma, Autoinfarction hepatocellular adenoma, Hemangioendothelioma, Hepatic hamartoma, Mesenchymal hamartoma of infancy, Cholangioadenoma, Adenolipoma, Angiomyolipoma, Myelolipoma, Fibroma,

Malignant: Cystadenocarcinoma, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Fibrolamellar carcinoma, Cholangiocarcinoma, Primary squamous cell carcinoma, Hepatic angiosarcoma, Carcinoid tumor, Neuroblastoma, Gallbladder cancer, Wilms tumor, Leiomyosarcoma, Fibrosarcoma

Metastatic: Colorectal carcinoma, Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, Oesophageal cancer, gastric carcinoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, Carcinoid tumor, Lung cancer, Breast adenocarcinoma, Ovarian cancer, Endometrial cancer, Renal cell carcinoma, Prostate cancer, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Hodgkins lymphoma

Opthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose / Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal / Electrolyte No underlying causes
Rheum / Immune / Allergy No underlying causes
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma Intrahepatic hematoma, Biliary hematoma, Hepatic subcapsular hematoma
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes


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