Liver adenomas, also known as hepatic adenomas, are rare, benign (non-cancerous) tumours that originate from liver cells. 


They often affect women of childbearing age who may be taking oral contraceptives and thus have changes in oestrogen levels, suggesting a possible link between hormone levels and the development of these tumours. 


Liver adenomas can vary in size and number, and while most remain asymptomatic, some may cause complications, such as bleeding into the abdominal cavity or, rarely, malignant transformation.


Causes and Risk Factors

  1. Hormonal Factors: Prolonged use of oral contraceptives, as well as anabolic steroids and hormone replacement therapy, can increase the risk of developing liver adenomas.
  2. Genetic Predisposition: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing liver adenomas.


Liver adenomas may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, in some cases, they can lead to:

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Abdominal fullness or bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Palpable mass in the abdomen



The diagnosis of liver adenomas involves various imaging tests, including ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI, which help visualize the liver and detect the presence of any abnormal masses. A biopsy may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other liver conditions.



The treatment approach for liver adenomas depends on several factors, including the size and number of the adenomas, the symptoms experienced, and the potential risk of complications. Treatment options may include:

  1. Discontinuation of Oral Contraceptives: If the patient’s liver adenomas are linked to the use of oral contraceptives, discontinuing their use may be recommended to prevent further growth or the development of new adenomas.
  2. Surgical Removal: Surgical intervention may be necessary if the adenomas are large, causing symptoms, or at risk of bleeding. The removal of the affected portion of the liver (partial hepatectomy) is the standard treatment. In many cases, this can be done via minimally invasive (laparoscopic/ robotic) techniques.
  3. Monitoring: Small, asymptomatic adenomas may be monitored periodically with imaging tests to track any changes in size or characteristics.

Regular follow-up visits with a healthcare provider are essential for individuals diagnosed with liver adenomas to monitor the condition and ensure the timely detection of any changes or potential complications. Early detection and appropriate management are crucial for ensuring the best possible outcomes for individuals with liver adenomas.

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