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Definition of Peliosis hepatis

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Peliosis hepatis: A rare condition in which the liver contains multiple, randomly-distributed blood-filled spaces or cavities ranging in size from millimeters to several centimeters in diameter. Peliosis hepatis has been associated with the use of anabolic steroids and other hormones such as oral contraceptive pills. It has also been observed in association with both benign and malignant liver tumors, infections, and the use of certain medications. Although peliosis hepatis typically does not cause symptoms, rupture of the blood-filled cavities can lead to serious and potentially fatal internal hemorrhage.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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