Primary hepatic tumours in children: a 26-year review.
Twenty-one children were admitted to a single paediatric institution between 1964-1990 with histologically proven primary liver tumours. The diagnosis was hepatoblastoma (HBL) in 15 patients, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCA) in 2, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) in 2, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in 1, and haemangioendothelioma (HE) in 1. The common presenting clinical features were anaemia, abdominal mass, and abdominal pain. Serum alpha-foetoprotein was useful in establishing a diagnosis in HBL and in monitoring disease activity. Computed tomographic (CT) scan, ultrasound, and angiography were useful preoperative investigations for assessing site and resectability of tumour. There were no survivors in patients with malignant hepatic tumours (n = 10) who had surgery alone prior to 1981. Of 7 patients with HBL diagnosed after 1981 who had adequate surgical resection and chemotherapy, 5(72%) are currently alive and disease free between 15 months and 8 years from diagnosis. We conclude that adequate surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy can improve disease free survival for children with HBL. Optimal treatment has yet to be devised for other malignant hepatic tumours.
Gururangan, S; O'Meara, A; MacMahon, C; Guiney, EJ; O'Donnell, B; Fitzgerald, RJ; Breatnach, F
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