A 6-year-old Malay boy presented with fever and abdominal pain for 2 months. Computerised tomography showed a nodular mass in the left lobe of the liver. There was also portal vein thrombosis on the left side. Serum alpha-fetoprotein was not elevated and Hepatitis B antigen was negative. Biopsy of the liver mass led to a histological diagnosis of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. In view of extensive tumour involvement, he could not be operated on but was treated with chemotherapy. However, the tumour did not respond. While this is expected for fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, the possibility of the tumour having a component of ordinary hepatocellular carcinoma could not be excluded as the tumour was not resected. Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma is a rare histological subtype of hepatocellular carcinoma, associated with a better prognosis. It affects the younger age group and has no association with cirrhosis, hepatitis B virus infection or exposure to oral contraceptives, all of which are implicated in ordinary hepatocellular carcinoma. Serum alpha-fetoprotein level is usually within normal limits and other laboratory values are not contributory to the diagnosis. The diagnosis is usually suggested by radiographic studies viz. CT scan of the abdomen, which would show an irregular non-homogenous mass in the liver, and confirmed by histological examination. The most characteristic microscopical feature is fibrosis arranged in a lamellar fashion around polygonal and deeply eosinophilic neoplastic hepatocytes.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||The Malaysian Journal of Pathology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2001|