Cavernous hemangioma is a vascular malformation characterized by localized collection of abnormally formed blood vessels that may occur in the skin or internal organs. Cavernous hemangioma is a rare disease that affects less than 200,000 Americans.
Cavernous Hemangioma Introduction
Cavernous hemangioma, also called cavernous malformation and cavernoma, is a vascular tumor made up of large, dilated blood vessels. These tumors are dark red with blue lesions and can be found in the liver, rectum, eyes, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, thyroid gland, spinal cord and the brain. Cavernous hemangiomas develop in tiny small blood vessels and lack major incoming arteries. The lesions are non cancerous are can be surgically removed. Given below are characteristics of cavernous hemangiomas in different locations.
Cavernous Hemangioma in the Brain
Around 0,5% of worldwide population has cavernous malformation in the brain (cerebral cavernous hemangioma). This is most commonly seen in individuals aged between 20 and 30. Cavernous hemangioma in the brain is benign and grows slowly. The lesion does not cause pain, but can be accompanied by headaches, seizures, bleeding in the brain (cerebral hemorrhage or hemorrhagic stroke) and paralysis.
Cerebral cavernous hemangioma is usually found in the cortex of the brain, but can be also located in the hypothalamus, brainstem or the spinal cord (spinal hemangioma). Location of the lesion determines the severity of the disease.
Sometimes, cerebral cavernous hemangiomas do not produce any symptoms at all. The affected individual may not be aware of the tumor until it is accidentally discovered by routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening done for other reasons.
Cavernous Hemangioma of the Liver
Cavernous hemangioma of the liver is also known as liver hemangioma or hepatic hemangioma. It is a benign growth that can be asymptomatic and diagnosed accidentally during a test for different liver disorders. In some patients, though, cavernous hemangioma of the liver can lead to pain in upper right portion of the abdomen, felling of fullness after a meal, nausea, vomiting and appetite loss.
Liver hemangioma is believed to be present at birth. This lesion usually remains the same size, but if it grows, it may cause problems. However, there is no evidence that this tumor increases the risk of liver cancer.
Cavernous Hemangioma in the Skin
This benign mass has reddish, sponge-like appearance and is filled with blood. It is also known as angioma cavernosum or cavernoma. Such tumors are found in the skin of the neck or face region. They are often referred to as birthmarks. Generally, cavernous hemangiomas in the skin do not cause symptoms, but for cosmetic reasons can be surgically removed.