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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Mar 14;14(10):1622-4.

Pseudocirrhosis in a pancreatic cancer patient with liver metastases: a case report of complete resolution of pseudocirrhosis with an early recognition and management.

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Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, United States.


We report a case of pseudocirrhosis arising in the setting of regression of liver metastases from pancreatic cancer. A 55-year-old asymptomatic woman presented to our clinic with newly diagnosed metastatic pancreatic cancer with extensive liver metastases. She underwent systemic chemotherapy with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GEMOX). After 8 cycles of therapy, she had a remarkable response to the therapy evidenced by decline of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA19 by > 50% and nearly complete resolution of hepatic metastases in computed tomography (CT) scan. Shortly after, she developed increasing bilateral ankle edema and ascites, associated with dyspnea, progressive weight gain, and declining performance status. Gemcitabine and oxaliplatin were discontinued as other causes of her symptoms such as congestive heart disease or venous thrombosis were ruled out. CT scan 6 mo after the initiation of GEMOX revealed worsening ascites with a stable pancreatic mass. However, it also revealed a lobular hepatic contour, segmental atrophy, and capsular retraction mimicking the appearance of cirrhosis. She was managed with aggressive diuresis and albumin infusions which eventually resulted in a resolution of the above-mentioned symptoms as well as complete resolution of pseudocirrhotic appearance of the liver and ascites in CT scan. This case demonstrates that pancreatic cancer patients can develop pseudocirrhosis. Clinicians and radiologist should be well aware of this entity as early recognition and management can lead to a near complete recovery of liver function and much improved quality of life as illustrated in this case.

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