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Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1992 May;174(5):403-7.

Benign tumors of the liver resected because of a diagnosis of malignancy.

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Department of Surgery, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Thirty-two benign hepatic lesions, which were resected because of a diagnosis of malignancy, were reviewed to demonstrate the characteristics of the problem and to consider the best course of management. The preoperative diagnoses included 21 hepatocellular carcinomas, six metastases and five others. As the final diagnosis, hemangioma and focal nodular hyperplasia were the two major lesions mimicking malignancy, accounting for seven and six patients, respectively. Four of seven hemangiomas were atypical, with a considerable amount of fibrosis. Focal nodular hyperplasia and adenoma were misdiagnosed as hepatocellular carcinoma among other malignancies. Two instances each of necrotic tissue and hemangioma were diagnosed as metastatic carcinoma. The lesions that were studied had main features, including a diameter of less than 4 centimeters in 23 patients, evident discrepancy among the roentgenologic diagnoses in 25 patients and no rapid increase in size in 28 patients. Four of nine needle biopsies performed gave false-positive results and did not always provide adequate information. It was concluded that 15 of the 32 patients, who satisfied the aforementioned three criteria, could have been observed more carefully. However, in the other 17 patients, surgical intervention was considered justified because of an indication of a higher likelihood of a real malignancy.

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