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Hepatic Artery Aneurysm


Hepatic artery aneurysms are rare; they have a high rate of spontaneous rupture and hemorrhage leading to mortality. The increase in the incidence of hepatic artery aneurysms may be attributed to the frequent use of imaging tests.


Most patients with hepatic artery aneurysms are asymptomatic and the aneurysm is discovered as an incidental finding on imaging being performed to work up unrelated symptoms or conditions. Patients with a hepatic artery aneurysm may present with abdominal pain, particularly epigastric discomfort, right upper quadrant pain, obstructive jaundice, and/or hemobilia [1] [2] [3]. In rare instances, a patient with a giant aneurysm may present with a pulsatile mass in the right upper abdomen. Patients often become clinically symptomatic when there is erosion into the biliary tree or the portal vein resulting in the development of portal hypertension or rupture of an aneurysm into the peritoneal or retroperitoneal cavity. Approximately one-third of patients present with hemobilia, characterized by jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding, and biliary colic (Quincke's triad) [4]. Discovery of a hepatic artery aneurysm in an asymptomatic individual occurs as an incidental finding on a computed tomography or ultrasound exam being performed for an unrelated purpose [2] [3].

Developmental Delay
  • Case Case Report A seven-year-old Saudi boy who had global developmental delay secondary to brain dysgenesis was admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, with a two-day history of abdominal pain, fever and jaundice.[annsaudimed.net]
Chronic Abdominal Pain
  • We describe a case of a successful endovascular exclusion of a hepatic artery aneurysm in a patient that suffered from chronic abdominal pain. CASE REPORT: A 68-year old man presented with chronic abdominal pain that had existed for 10 months.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Endovascular treatment of a hepatic artery aneurysm causing chronic abdominal pain; a case report. Ann Hepatol. 2010; 9 (1): 104-6[ PubMed ] 6. Abbas MA, Fowl RJ, Stone WM, Panneton JM, Oldenburg WA, Bower TC, et al.[iranjradiol.com]
Recurrent Abdominal Pain
  • CONCLUSIONS: Small hepatic artery aneurysms may cause chronic recurrent abdominal pain and can be safely excluded using a covered stentgraft.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Vascular Disease
  • The great improvement in the diagnosis of vascular diseases and the increasing incidence of atherosclerosis have resulted in a wider recognition of these pathologies.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Among the former group, atherosclerosis, arthritis, and collagen vascular disease are the most common, whereas liver biopsy or other radiologic interventions (ie, percutaneous abscess drainage) are frequent iatrogenic causes.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • diseases I73.0 Raynaud's syndrome I73.00 …… without gangrene I73.1 Thromboangiitis obliterans [Buerger's disease] I73.8 Other specified peripheral vascular diseases I73.89 Other specified peripheral vascular diseases I73.9 Peripheral vascular disease[icd10data.com]
  • diseases [ 2 ].[em-consulte.com]
  • Among the former group, atherosclerosis, arthritis, and collagen vascular disease are the most common, whereas liver biopsy or other radiologic interventions (ie, percutaneous abscess drainage) are frequent iatrogenic causes.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Administering antibiotics, we tried to embolize the aneurysm because of fear of rupture, but this manever failed because it was difficult to insert the wire in to the aneurysm to produce a stenosis around its proximal neck.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]


Most diagnostic algorithms for patients presenting with symptoms associated with hepatic artery aneurysm (e.g. mid-epigastric discomfort, abdominal pain) include imaging. The most common imaging modalities used to evaluate hepatic artery aneurysm (and generalized abdominal pain) are ultrasound scan (US), computed tomography (CT) scan with contrast, and angiogram.

On the US, a hepatic artery aneurysm may appear as a mixed echogenic mass with cystic and solid components. Calcifications are usually present in the wall of an aneurysm [5] [6]. Color doppler will demonstrate turbulent or arterial pulsatile flow that is suggestive of the lesion being vascular in origin. US can be used to rule out other vascular conditions such as arteriovenous malformations or fistulas [7] [8] [9].

Hepatic artery aneurysm can be diagnosed by a contrast-enhanced CT scan or three-dimensional CT scan. In general, a CT scan will demonstrate the characteristics of an aneurysm, adjacent anatomical structures, and any signs of rupture. Calcifications will usually be present in the vessel's wall. Thrombotic deposits in the vessel's lumen appear as ring-shaped or semilunar areas of hypodensity. Intravenous contrast allows a more definitive view of the vessel lumen.

A CT angiogram is able to further delineate small aneurysms and provide anatomical details including identification of the artery of origin. Use of CT angiogram often provides a definitive diagnosis, without the need of angiography, however, intravenous contrast is contraindicated in some patients with renal dysfunction [10] [11].

Three-dimensional contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) angiography may also be used for the diagnosis of hepatic artery aneurysm in lieu of angiography. Three-dimensional MRI is a quick, sensitive, accurate test and it provides better delineation of the arterial anatomy [12] [13].

Angiography is considered the gold standard diagnostic test for hepatic artery aneurysm. It is highly efficacious with a sensitivity of 100% [13]. Angiography, while invasive, permits diagnosis, identification of additional aneurysms, feeding vessels, and provides information necessary for treatment of an aneurysm [14].

Entamoeba Histolytica
  • Surgical treatment resolved peritonitis but Entamoeba histolytica was detected in the colonic mucosa.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]


  • There is still a lack of studies demonstrating the comparative efficacy or inefficacy of any particular treatment, so there are currently no precise indications for determining which type of treatment should be used.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Abstract Endovascular stent placement and coil embolization have become established options in the treatment of visceral arterial aneurysms.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • These two cases highlight the difficulty of managing HAAs, and provide insight into their treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Abstract Hepatic artery aneurysm rupture is a rare condition that requires urgent diagnosis and treatment in order to avoid a potentially fatal outcome. The clinical presentation is often non-specific.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Surgical treatment resolved peritonitis but Entamoeba histolytica was detected in the colonic mucosa.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ranks among the most common malignancies worldwide, and the prognosis for patients with HCC is typically poor. Chemoembolization has become the mainstay of treatment for patients with unresectable HCC.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • While only four patients had successfully undergone surgical repair prior to 1951, vascular techniques have improved the previous grave prognosis.[jamanetwork.com]
  • Treatment and prognosis Treatment options include: trans-catheter coil embolization surgery (historically treated with surgery) Once successfully treated (embolotherapy, surgical resection), prognosis is generally good for an individual lesion.[radiopaedia.org]
  • Park, Kim, Han, Goo, Han, Bae, and Park: Hemobilia from Ruptured Hepatic Artery Aneurysm in Polyarteritis Nodosa Abstract Hemobilia, in patients with the diagnosis of polyarteritis nodosa, is rare at clinical presentation and has a grave prognosis.[kjim.org]
  • Natural history and prognosis. Ann Surg . 1983;197:348-352. Meyer C, Verrel F, Weyer G, et al. Endovascular management of complex renal artery aneurysms using the multilayer stent. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2011;34:637-641.[evtoday.com]


  • We conclude that unexplained findings of visceral arterial aneurysms should prompt investigations for vasculitis as the etiology.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The etiology of prune belly syndrome (PBS) is poorly understood, but new evidence suggests that it is caused by mesodermal delay during the fetal development because of an intrauterine injury.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Herein, relatively asymptomatic aneurysm of the common hepatic artery mostly of atherosclerotic etiology is presented. The importance of imaging findings in the diagnosis of this condition is discussed and relevant literature is reviewed (1, 2).[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Severe atherosclerosis was the unique confirmed etiology of the giant hepatic artery aneurysm in this Brazilian female.[scielo.isciii.es]
  • Regardless of how VAA are discovered, the choice of treatment depends on clinical presentation, underlying etiology, location, general health status, and comorbidity factors.[intechopen.com]


  • Hypoxic hepatitis-epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical management. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2010; 122: 129-139. [ Links ] 8. Henrion J, Schapira M, Luwaert R, Colin L, Delannoy A, Heller FR.[scielo.isciii.es]
Sex distribution
Age distribution


  • This report reviews the pathophysiology and management of PAN and the diagnosis and management of HAA.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • References Steer ML: Pathophysiology and pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis; in Bradley III EL (ed): Acute Pancreatitis: Diagnosis and Therapy. New York, Raven Press, 1994.[karger.com]
  • Hypoxic hepatitis-epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical management. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2010; 122: 129-139. [ Links ] 8. Henrion J, Schapira M, Luwaert R, Colin L, Delannoy A, Heller FR.[scielo.isciii.es]


  • This will prevent the wrong diagnosis of vasculitis and subsequent treatment with potentially toxic medications. We present 2 cases of FMD involving the renal and hepatic arteries that illustrate this diagnostic challenge.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • In cases with huge extrahepatic artery aneurysms, an aggressive approach to restore the hepatic arterial continuity seems appropriate for the prevention of ischemic damage to the liver.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The first intervention was to place a stent into the hepatic artery to prevent further ischemic damage.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Essentially all pseudoaneurysms, whether symptomatic or not, require early treatment to prevent lethal adverse events.[endoscopedia.com]
  • Prevention See the separate Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiovascular Risk Assessment articles.[patient.info]



  1. Arneson MA, Smith RS. Ruptured hepatic artery aneurysm: case report and review of literature. Ann Vasc Surg. 2005; 19:540-5.
  2. Lumsden AB, Mattar SG, Allen RC, Bacha EA. Hepatic artery aneurysms: the management of 22 patients. J Surg Res. 1996; 60:345-50.
  3. Baggio E, Migliara B, Lipari G, Landoni L. Treatment of six hepatic artery aneurysms. Ann Vasc Surg. 2004; 18: 93-9.
  4. Abbas MA, Fowl RJ, Stone WM, et al. Hepatic artery aneurysm: factors that predict complications. J Vasc Surg. 2003 Jul;38(1):41-5.
  5. Paolella LP, Scola FH, Cronan JJ. Hepatic artery aneurysm:an ultrasound diagnosis.J Clin Ultrasound. 1985; 13:360-2.
  6. Parmar H, Shah J, Shah B, et al. Imaging findings in a giant hepatic artery aneurysm. J Postgrad Med. 2000; 46:104-5.
  7. Chandramohan C, Khan AN, Fitzgerald S, et al. Sonographic diagnosis and follow-up of idiopathic hepatic artery aneurysm, an unusual cause of obstructive jaundice. J Clin Ultrasound. 2001; 29:466-71.
  8. Rigaux A, Vossen P, Van Baarle A, et al. A.Hepatic artery aneurysm: ultrasonic diagnosis. J Clin Ultrasound. 1986; 14:401-3.
  9. Stokland E, Wihed A, Ceder S, et al. Ultrasonic diagnosis of an aneurysm of the common hepatic artery. J Clin Ultrasound. 1985; 13:360-2.
  10. Howling SJ, Gordon H, McArthur T, et al. Hepatic artery aneurysms: Evaluation using three dimensional spiral CT angiography. Clin Radiol. 1997; 52:227-30.
  11. Shanley CJ, Shah NL, Messina LM. Common splanchnic artery aneurysms: splenic, hepatic, and celiac. Ann Vasc Surg. 1996;10:315-22.
  12. Pilleul F, Beuf O. Diagnosis of splanchnic artery aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms, with special reference to contrast enhanced 3D magnetic resonance angiography: a review. Acta Radiol. 2004;45:702-8.
  13. Liu Q, Lu JP, Wang F, Wang L, Tian JM. 3D Contrast-enhanced MR angiography of aortic dissection: a pictorial essay. Radiographics. 2007;27:1311-21.
  14. Warshauer DM, Keefe B, Maura MA. Intrahepatic hepatic artery aneurysm: computed tomography and color-flow Doppler ultrasound findings. Gastrointest Radiol. 1991;16:175-7.

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Last updated: 2018-06-21 23:47