Liver endometriosis is a condition where tissue resembling the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows around or inside the liver, forming lesions. Liver endometriosis is very rare, with only a few reported cases in the literature. It can occur without coexisting endometriosis in the pelvic area.

Symptoms of liver endometriosis

Liver endometriosis usually causes pain in the upper abdomen, which can be severe and may occur in episodes. The pain may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Pelvic pain and jaundice have also been reported.

Diagnosis of liver endometriosis

In most cases, liver function tests stay in the normal range in patients with liver endometriosis.

The endometrial lesions may be seen by ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans. In MRI and CT, the lesions may appear as cysts. It is, however, not possible to identify these irregularities as endometriosis using only these imaging techniques.

The results of biopsies, during which a small piece of tissue is taken for analysis, are also usually inconclusive.

For a final diagnosis, segmentectomy (removal of part of the liver) followed by histopathologic examination (viewing under a microscope) is necessary.

Treatment of liver endometriosis

Because liver endometriosis is so rare, no consistent treatment guidelines exist. In most cases, the endometrial tissue is removed surgically, which may include segmentectomy. Some cases have also been treated with the testosterone derivate Danazol (danocrine).


Last updated: Aug. 11, 2019


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