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Brain Pathol. 2013 May;23(3):365-6. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12053.

A 50-year-old man with back pain and a sellar mass. Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Pathology, USA.


Hepatocellular carcinoma rarely metastasizes to the pituitary gland and this site is very rarely the initial site of disease presentation. When it does, it may mimic a far more common pituitary adenoma. Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma should be suspected in any individual with known liver disease or significant risk factors. The most common clinical sign of metastatic HCC to the skull is a subcutaneous mass followed by neurological deficits including visual disturbances, headache and seizure. The diagnosis can be made based on the histopathologic and immunohistochemical findings. When metastatic HCC is present in the skull base, appropriate work up should be done to rule out other metastatic sites, most commonly present in the spine.

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