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World J Hepatol. 2013 Dec 27;5(12):696-700. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i12.696.

Hepatocellular carcinoma and synchronous liver metastases from colorectal cancer in cirrhosis: A case report.

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Marcello Maida, Fabio Salvatore Macaluso, Giuseppe Cabibbo, Section of Gastroenterology, DIBIMIS, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.


A 68-year-old Caucasian man with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis was admitted to our Unit in February 2010 for a diagnostic evaluation of three centimetric hypoechoic focal liver lesions detected by regular surveillance ultrasound. The subsequent computer tomography (CT) led to a diagnosis of unifocal hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in VI hepatic segment, defined the other two nodules in the VI and VII segment as suspected metastases, and showed a luminal narrowing with marked segmental circumferential thickening of the hepatic flexure of the colon. Colonoscopy detected an ulcerated, bleeding and stricturing lesion at the hepatic flexure, which was subsequently defined as adenocarcinoma with a moderate degree of differentiation at histological examination. Finally, ultrasound-guided liver biopsy of the three focal liver lesions confirmed the diagnosis of HCC for the nodule in the VI segment, and characterized the other two lesions as metastases from colorectal cancer. The patient underwent laparotomic right hemicolectomy with removal of thirty-nine regional lymph nodes (three of them tested positive for metastasis at histological examination), and simultaneous laparotomic radio-frequency ablation of both nodule of HCC and metastases. The option of adjuvant chemotherapy was excluded because of the post-surgical onset of ascites. Abdomen CT and positron emission tomography/CT scans performed after 1, 6 and 12 mo highlighted a complete response to treatments without any radiotracer accumulation. After 18 mo, the patient died due to progressive liver failure. Our experience emphasizes the potential coexistence of two different neoplasms in a cirrhotic liver and the complexity in the proper diagnosis and management of the two tumours.


Cirrhosis; Colorectal cancer; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver metastases

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