What causes a lesion on the liver?

Updated February 21, 2017

A lesion is any kind of abnormality on tissue. It can be caused by illness, or by serious injury. Lesions on the liver can be diagnosed by your physician. The lesions may be harmless (benign), or a sign of cancer. Lesions on the liver can have a variety of causes.


Sarcoidosis is one illness that can lead to the development of liver lesions. The cause is unknown, and there are often no symptoms.

Cystic Disease

In cystic disease of the liver, lesions can also be formed, as well as fluid-filled solid masses.


The most prevalent type of liver lesions are known as hemangiomas. They are most commonly found in women and are believed to be linked to changes in hormone levels.

Focal Nodular Hyperplasia

Another common type of abnormal liver tissue is a FNH--focal nodular hyperplasia. This is a benign, usually asymptomatic type of lesion that rarely requires surgery.


Yet another cause of liver lesions are adenomas, a fairly rare type of tissue. They are often associated with women who take oral contraceptives, and 10 per cent of these types of lesions may be cancerous.

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About the Author

Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.