Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Radiology. 2008 Nov;249(2):518-23. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2492072168.

Frequency and histopathologic basis of hepatic surface nodularity in patients with fulminant hepatic failure.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0628, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the frequency and histopathologic basis of hepatic surface nodularity at imaging in patients with fulminant hepatic failure.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The committee on human research approved this HIPAA-compliant study and waived written informed consent. Thirty-five consecutive patients [24 female [mean age, 38 years +/- 19 (standard deviation); range, 1-67 years] and 11 male [mean age, 29 years +/- 22; range, 2-61 years]] with a mean age of 35 years +/- 20 (range, 1-67 years) who underwent liver transplantation for fulminant hepatic failure at our institution during a 5-year period were retrospectively identified. Pretransplant ultrasonographic (n = 38; three patients each had two studies) and computed tomographic (n = 2) studies were retrospectively and independently reviewed for hepatic surface nodularity. Liver explant histopathologic findings (n = 33; slides unavailable in two patients) were reviewed for cirrhosis and for the combination of alternating foci of confluent regenerative nodules and necrosis. Differences among patients with nodular versus smooth liver surfaces in the proportion with the two histopathologic findings were compared with Fisher exact test. Differences in illness duration and maximum liver biochemical indices were compared with Mann-Whitney Rank Sum test.

RESULTS:

Fifteen of 35 patients (43%) demonstrated hepatic surface nodularity at pretransplant imaging, none of whom had cirrhosis at histopathologic examination. One patient with a smooth liver surface had cirrhosis. Compared with those who had a smooth liver surface, patients with hepatic surface nodularity had a significantly greater proportion with the histopathologic finding of a combination of alternating foci of confluent regenerative nodules and necrosis (12 of 14 vs one of 19, P < .001), longer illness duration (31 days +/- 32 vs 13 days +/- 13, P = .029), and lower maximum liver biochemical indices.

CONCLUSION:

Hepatic surface nodularity is commonly seen at imaging in fulminant hepatic failure and usually reflects a combination of alternating foci of confluent regenerative nodules and necrosis; this is important because an erroneous radiologic diagnosis of cirrhosis in this setting could adversely affect transplantation status.

PMID:
18936312
DOI:
10.1148/radiol.2492072168
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center