What Is an Angiomyolipoma?

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An angiomyolipoma (AML) is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that consists of smooth muscles, fat, and abundant blood vessels. Since it typically occurs in the kidney, it’s also called renal angiomyolipoma. Occasionally, however, it may occur elsewhere in the body, e.g. the liver.


The symptoms depend on the size and severity of the tumor. Often, there are flank pain, hematuria (blood in the urine) and incidentaloma (incidental lesion). In severer cases where the tumor is over 4 cm in diameter, there may be serious bleeding.


Despite that the exact cause of an angiomyolipoma is not clear, it’s commonly considered to be associated with tuberous sclerosis (a genetic multisystem disease characterized by numerous benign tumors in many parts of the body). In fact, 70% of patients of tuberous sclerosis have an angiomyolipoma.


In general, the patient needs an MRI, ultrasound or CT scan to determine the presence and condition of the tumor.


If the tumor remains small and causes no symptoms, there is no need for treatment. On the other hand, if it’s serious, the patient may need a surgery. Please consult your doctor for more information.   Keywords: angiomyolipoma; AML; renal angiomyolipoma.