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Transplant Proc. 2004 Oct;36(8):2293-4.

Clinicopathological features of incidental hepatocellular carcinoma in liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The incidence of detecting hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a removed recipient liver after a liver transplant is not rare. The clinical features are expected to be different from the preoperatively diagnosed HCC. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinicopathological features of incidental HCC. This study retrospectively analyzed five cases of incidental HCC among 51 liver transplant cases of HCC operated from September 1996 to February 2002. The proportion of an incidental HCC was 9.8%. The mean age was 46.2 years with a higher prevalence in may (80%, four cases). The alpha-fetoprotein level was normal or mildly elevated. HBsAg was positive in all cases. Imaging studies revealed regenerative or dysplastic nodules, or no specific lesion. The pathological findings demonstrated a mean size of 1.16 cm, multiplicity in three cases (60%), no microvascular invasion, and Edmonson grade I (60%) and II (40%). There was no recurrence of the HCC. However, two patients died due to an intracranial hemorrhage and a graft failure, respectively. In conclusion, incidentally found HCC showed less invasive pathological features and a better prognosis.

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