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Minimally invasive treatment of giant haemangiomas of the liver: embolisation with bleomycin.

PURPOSE: The management of patients with giant haemangioma of the liver remains controversial. Although the usual treatment method for symptomatic giant haemangioma is surgery, the classical paradigm of operative resection remains. In this study, we evaluated the symptomatic improvement and size-reduction effect of embolisation with bleomycin mixed with lipiodol for the treatment of symptomatic giant hepatic haemangioma.

METHODS: This study included 26 patients [21 female, five male; age 41-65 years (mean 49.83 ± 1.53)] with symptomatic giant haemangioma unfit for surgery and treated with selective embolisation by bleomycin mixed with lipiodol. The patients were followed-up (mean 7.4 ± 0.81 months) clinically and using imaging methods. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 16.0, and p < 0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.

RESULTS: Embolisation of 32 lesions in 26 patients was performed. The mean volume of the haemangiomas was 446.28 ± 88 cm(3) (range 3.39-1559 cm(3)) before intervention and 244.43 ± 54.38 cm(3) (range 94-967 cm(3)) after intervention. No mortality or morbidity related to the treatment was identified. Symptomatic improvement was observed in all patients, and significant volume reduction was achieved (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The morbidity of surgical treatment in patients with giant liver hemangioma were similar to those obtained in patients followed-up without treatment. Therefore, follow-up without treatment is preferred in most patients. Thus, minimally invasive embolisation is an alternative and effective treatment for giant symptomatic haemangioma of the liver.

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