Liver being one of the highly functional organ of our body, any abnormalities related to it have to be diagnosed and cured immediately. Liver lesion is one of the frequently occurring abnormalities and can be caused due to varied reasons that are at times cannot be manifested with symptoms. Although most of the lesion of liver is benign, occurrence of malignant liver lesion cannot be ruled out.
The regular disorders like tumor, injuries, infections and structural abnormalities come under the term liver lesions. Most of the times especially, in the initial stages these lesions are restricted to particular area and show distinct limitations. These lesions are termed as focal lesions and those liver lesions having no distinct periphery are called as diffused lesions. The causes of liver lesion formation can be varied and many times cancerous. Many lesions have been found to develop into malignant tumor although initially they are benign. Benign lesions are solid or filled with liquid. Although the transition of benign lesions into malignant tumor is rare, it’s very important that the diagnosis is made perfectly and best treatment is opted for.
Liver lesions can be caused by a number of reasons. Hepatocellular carcinomas or liver malignancy at primary stage and metastases have been known to cause the malignant liver lesions. Metastases are a process in which cancer developing primarily in different organ spreads to other organ. Conditions like liver cysts, polycystic liver disease, focal nodular hyperplasias hemangiomas, sarcoidosis, adenoma etc. are mostly responsible for causing liver lesions. Diffused liver lesions have been known to be caused by fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. In simple cysts, the cavities are filled with fluid with no obvious symptoms whereas polycystic liver disease exhibit innumerable cysts with varied shapes and sizes that lay dispersed all through the organ. But even in this condition no display of symptoms is observed. General abdominal discomfort may be the only symptom reflected.
Choledochal cysts are usually traced amongst kids and have been found to develop liver bile ducts. Such cysts cause liver lesions that can be malignant. Such lesions result in symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, rib pain or beneath etc. Hepatic hemangioma look and feel like sponge and are mostly filled with blood. Lesions formed by them are benign mostly and do not exhibit any symptoms. A type of tumor- Hepatic adenomas is mostly formed due to epithelial cell growth in excess in the liver. Although these are primarily benign they have the tendency to transform into malignant tumors. These tumors are more common in women than men and oral contraceptive usages are known to be the cause behind their occurrence. Small adenomas are harmless, but large adenomas are responsible for bleeding and enlarged size of liver. Another type of liver tumor that is benign in nature is focal nodular hyperplasias which can grow to a large size. Most of the lesions of liver cause similar symptoms like pain due to overgrowth, vomiting or nausea as a result of blockage of bile, abdomen fullness, bleeding, jaundice etc. So even the benign liver lesions can create troubles although they are not fatal!
Most of the liver lesions are benign but some metastases into malignant and hence it’s important that the diagnosis is done rightly. Imaging techniques like computed tomography (CT), ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used mainly for diagnosis. The liver lesions are differentiated on the basis of their varying morphological structures. These diagnostic procedures help in the proper differentiation of lesions. Lately more stress is given on the MRI technique as CT scan results have been found to be wrong or misleading in some cases.
Liver lesion treatment depends upon the cause of its occurrence. Some lesions do not require any treatment at all while some are removed. Liver resection which is the process of removing some portion of liver is performed in some cases. Marsupialization is done in case of cysts so as to take out the fluid. Cancerous lesion treatment will depend upon the intensity of the affliction.