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J Gastroenterol. 2005 Feb;40(2):204-8.

Juvenile hepatocellular carcinoma with congestive liver cirrhosis.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Osaka National Hospital, Osaka, Japan.


A case of juvenile hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with congestive liver cirrhosis is reported. The patient was a 21-year-old woman. She had been diagnosed as having transposition of the great arteries, type 2, in 1978. She underwent the Mustard operation, but suffered from chronic heart failure. In 1995, she experienced abdominal pain and underwent examination. The laboratory data were normal, except for elevated total bilirubin (5.2 mg/dl). Blood examinations were performed at frequent intervals, and the total bilirubin level fluctuated between 0.9 and 8.1 mg/dl over the next 4 years, but the transaminase level remained normal. In 1999, she experienced abdominal pain again and was admitted to our hospital. Computed tomography showed four space-occupying lesions in the liver; 45 mm, 20 mm, 12 mm, and 10 mm in size. She was diagnosed as having HCC, and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization and percutaneous ethanol injection therapy were performed. Histology of the cancerous and the noncancerous liver tissue revealed HCC, moderately differentiated type, in cirrhotic liver with congestion. This patient had no background factors of liver disease, except for liver congestion, associated with the chronic heart failure. Because most patients with cardiac cirrhosis die of cardiac disease, only a small number of these patients develop liver failure. However, the incidence of HCC in patients with congestive liver disease is likely to increase in the future, as survival time is prolonged with the advances in treatment for chronic heart failure. Therefore, patients with congestive liver disease should be followed, taking into account the possibility of HCC.

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