An Uncommon Focal Liver Lesion: Intrahepatic Splenosis
Multiple focal liver lesions were incidentally detected in a patient screened by ultrasound for a recent diagnosis of lower limb deep vein thrombosis, for which anticoagulation had been initiated. Past medical history reported a post-traumatic splenectomy 15 years before. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) showed a subcapsular lesion in liver segment 5 consistent with focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) and multiple other nodules, with a different pattern from the former, judged as probable hepatic adenomas by MRI but probable hemangiomas by CEUS (hyperenhancement in the late phase). Therefore, another MRI with gadoxetic acid was performed. The diagnosis of FNH was confirmed. The other lesions showed an hyperenhancing pattern in the arterial phase with progressive wash-out in the portal and late phase and marked hypointensity in the hepatobiliary phase. This pattern apparently confirmed the hypothesis of adenomas, with a potential risk of malignancy due to the hepatobiliary phase pattern and the recent occurrence of deep vein thrombosis. Due to the inherent risk of spontaneous bleeding from subcapsular adenomas increased by the ongoing anticoagulant therapy and the recommendation of international guidelines to resect adenomas in male subjects, the patient was directly offered surgery. Pathology of the resected specimens confirmed one FNH but demonstrated intrahepatic splenosis for all other lesions. This case suggests that in the setting of previous splenic trauma any discrepancy between MRI and CEUS findings should lead one to consider also the hypothesis of intrahepatic splenosis.