Liver Mass

  • Isaac Samuel
  • Keith W. Millikan

Risk Factors: Most liver masses are asymptomatic and found incidentally during clinical examination, imaging studies, or surgery. When symptomatic they may present with pain, fever, jaundice, weight loss, or rupture. Risk factors for the various liver tumors have been identified and studied. Oral contraceptive use is associated with hepatocellular adenoma. Cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis predispose to hepatocellular carcinoma. Carcinogens associated with liver neoplasms include thorotrast, aflatoxin, vinyl chloride, and arsenic. Physical examination is often negative. Evidence of cirrhosis or primary tumors in other organs (large bowel, breast, and lung) should be sought for. Abnormalities of liver function tests are inconsistent and nonspecific. If serum transaminases are markedly abnormal, a hepatitis panel should be obtained. Tumor markers, such as alfa-fetoprotein (AFP) and carcinoembryonic antigen, have a role in the diagnosis and postoperative follow-up of hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and metastatic colon carcinoma. Imaging studies are complementary, rather than competitive, and provide useful information in diagnosis and in evaluating resectability.


Hydatid Cyst Choledochal Cyst Focal Nodular Hyperplasia Cavernous Hemangioma Islet Cell Tumor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaac Samuel
    • 1
  • Keith W. Millikan
    • 2
  1. 1.Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of MedicineUniversity of Iowa Hospitals & ClinicsIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Surgical Sciences and Services, Rush Medical College of Rush UniversityRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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