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Focal nodular hyperplasia or focal nodular hyperplasia-like lesions of the liver: a special emphasis on diagnosis

, : Focal nodular hyperplasia or focal nodular hyperplasia-like lesions of the liver: a special emphasis on diagnosis. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 26(6): 1004-1009

Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) and FNH-like lesions are hypervascular masses that can mimic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We have investigated the clinical, radiological and pathological features of FNH and FNH-like lesions of the liver, with particular focus on the aspect of diagnosis. A total of 84 patients, 77 with pathologically-proven FNH and seven with FNH-like lesions of the liver, were analyzed retrospectively. Of the 84 patients, seven had underlying liver cirrhosis, including two with Budd-Chiari syndrome and one with cardiac cirrhosis. These cases were therefore classified as having FNH-like lesions. Two of the remaining 77 patients without underlying liver cirrhosis were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen. Seven of 50 (14.0%) patients evaluated by four-phase computed tomography (CT) showed portal or delayed washout, and three of 28 (10.7%) patients analyzed by three-phase CT showed washout on the portal phase. Collectively, three of nine (33.3%) patients with risk factors for HCC could have been wrongly diagnosed with HCC based on the non-invasive diagnostic criteria for HCC. A central scar was observed in 30 patients (35.7%) radiologically. Among 62 patients who underwent percutaneous needle biopsy, four patients (6.5%) were misdiagnosed as having HCC and two patients (3.2%) had inconclusive results by a first needle biopsy. The presence of a hepatic lesion with arterial hypervascularity and/or portal/delayed washout is not necessarily diagnostic of HCC, particularly in patients without risk factors for HCC. These radiological findings can also occur in cirrhotic patients with FNH-like lesions, including those with hepatic outflow obstruction.


PMID: 21251063

DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.06659.x

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