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Vojnosanit Pregl. 2011 Apr;68(4):359-62.

Metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma presented as a tumor of the maxillary sinus and retrobulbar tumor.

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Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Clinic for Medical Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia.



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most frequent primary malignant tumor of the liver. It is usually seen in the 6th and 7th decades of life and chronic hepatitis B is the most frequent cause. Extrahepatic metastasis of HCC is an indicator of a poor prognosis and the most common sites are lungs, bones, lymph nodes, kidneys and adrenal glands. We reported a case of isolated metastasis in the right maxilla, which had been found initially, before the tumor in the liver was diagnosed.


A 70-year-old man underwent dental surgery of the upper right molar. Prolonged bleeding control was difficult for up to two weeks, so the biopsy was performed. Histopathological analysis revealed a metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma. Computerized tomography (CT) of the abdomen revealed a diffusely heterogeneous liver parenchyma with irregular borders and two foci of mass lesions. There were metastasis in the spleen and also two pathological retroperitoneal lymph nodes were detected, but no ascit, liver cirrhosis, cholestasis or portal vein thrombosis were seen. CT of the orbital and maxillary regions revealed a tumor mass in the right maxillary sinus, spreading to the alveolar sinus, nasal cavity and partially infratemporal space. A tumor mass was in the right orbit as well, infiltrating the surrounding bones and muscles. Clinically, there was proptosis of the right eye accompanied by amaurosis. The treatment started with chemotherapy based on 5-fluorouracil (sorafenib was not available). After three cycles, control CTs showed a stable disease in the liver, but progression in the right maxillary sinus and orbit. Enucleation of the right eye was performed and postoperative radiotherapy was planed. The patient deteriorated rapidly and died, about 6 months after the disease had been diagnosed.


Extrahepatic metastasis of HCC represents a progressive phase of the disease with poor prognosis, so the main aim of the treatment should be palliation and care of symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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