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Br J Cancer. 1998 Jun;77(11):2008-11.

Demonstration of hepatic steatosis by computerized tomography in patients receiving 5-fluorouracil-based therapy for advanced colorectal cancer.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London, UK.


The frequency and severity of fatty infiltration of the liver in patients receiving 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and folinic acid has not been documented systematically. Its development can result in difficulty assessing disease progression, and treatment may be altered inappropriately. Twenty-seven patients with colon cancer and liver metastases receiving 5-FU and folinic acid were studied with computerized tomography (CT) before treatment and after six or 12 cycles of chemotherapy. Forty-seven per cent of patients developed hepatic steatosis during treatment. There was no correlation between development of hepatic steatosis and the dose of chemotherapy or the liver function tests. Hepatic steatosis occurs commonly in patients receiving 5-FU and folinic acid and can be severe. Its development can make hepatic metastases difficult to assess and if its benign nature is not appreciated treatment may be inappropriately altered.

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