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Rev Med Chil. 1996 Apr;124(4):469-79.

[Hepatocellular carcinoma. General aspects of diagnosis and treatment].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Cirugía, Hospital Regional de Temuco, Chile.


Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most frequent form of primary hepatic cancer and has a high dissemination capacity. About 90% of tumors develop over a pre-existing cirrhosis but they also may occur in a normal liver. It has a higher frequency among males and 80% of tumors have clinical manifestations. It is associated to hepatitis B and C virus infection, alcoholism, cirrhosis of any etiology, consumption of aflatoxin Bl, oriental race and familial history. Patients are staged using classifications proposed by Okuda, Child-Pugh and the performance status test. Alpha feto protein is useful for diagnosis and follow up Abdominal ultrasound, hepatic scintiscan, angiography with lipiodol, CAT scan and nuclear magnetic resonance have a high diagnostic yield. Non surgical therapeutic alternatives include intratumoral alcoholization, chemoembolization and other such as tamoxifen and monoclonal antibodies. Surgical treatment is based on hepatic resection, whose magnitude depends on hepatic function. Hepatic transplantation is a new therapeutic alternative for patients in whom resection is not feasible and have a single small tumor without metastases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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