Arteriovenous haemangioma in chronic liver disease: clinical and histopathological features of four cases

Authors


Masashi Akiyama, MD PhD. E-mail: akiyama@med.teikyo-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Chronic liver diseases are known to cause several skin manifestations, including cutaneous vascular changes such as spider naevus and palmar erythema. Arteriovenous haemangioma (AVH), a benign acquired cutaneous vascular lesion, has also been reported to be associated with chronic liver disease. We report here four cases of AVH in patients with chronic liver disease: (i) a 59-year-old man who had suffered from chronic active hepatitis associated with hepatitis C virus for 15 years; (ii) a 48-year-old man who had suffered from alcoholic hepatitis for 3 years and was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis 1 year ago; (iii) a 69-year-old female who had had chronic active hepatitis associated with hepatitis C virus infection for 20 years and was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis 7 years ago; and (iv) a 48-year-old man who had had chronic active hepatitis associated with hepatitis B virus infection for about 20 years. All patients showed an asymptomatic solitary dome-shaped reddish papule, 5–10 mm in diameter, on the face (first, second and third patients) or chest (fourth patient). Histopathological examination of the tumours revealed features of AVH, namely a well-circumscribed lesion composed of vascular structures of various sizes reminiscent of arteries and veins. In all four cases, elastic-van Gieson stain showed the absence of an internal elastic lamina in the thick-walled vessels as well as the thin-walled vessels. Examination of multiple sections demonstrated glomus cells and an ascending artery feeding the tumour vessels in only one case. Slight inflammatory cell infiltration was seen in the stroma of three patients while Toluidine blue staining revealed an increased number of mast cells in the stroma in all lesions. The present cases suggest that the occurrence of AVH associated with chronic liver disease is not related to any specific liver disease, but may be related to chronic liver dysfunction itself.

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