Paediatric hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma: retrospective study

KL Chan, ST Fan, PKH Tam, AKS Chiang, GCF Chan, SY Ha
Centre for the Study of Liver Disease, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

OBJECTIVES. To compare and contrast clinical characteristics and outcomes of hepatoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma in paediatric patients.

DESIGN. Retrospective study.

SETTING. University teaching hospital, Hong Kong.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. Medical records of 22 paediatric patients with hepatoblastoma (n=11) or hepatocellular carcinoma (n=11) admitted to Queen Mary Hospital between 1989 and 2000 were reviewed. Data gathered included demographic data, results of liver function tests, hepatitis A, B, and C titres, and alpha-foetoprotein levels, and imaging studies including chest X-ray, ultrasound study, computed tomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging/hepatic angiogram for tumour staging and resectability.

RESULTS. The mean age of patients with hepatoblastoma was 18 months (range, 5 months to 3 years), while that of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma was 10.2 years (range, 2 to 16 years). Females predominated in the hepatoblastoma group (female:male, 8:3) and males in the hepatocellular carcinoma group (male:female, 10:1). None of the patients with hepatoblastoma were hepatitis B surface antigen positive, in contrast to 64% of the hepatocellular carcinoma group. Only 45% of the hepatocellular carcinomas were resectable at presentation and this figure remained unchanged following chemotherapy. A total of 91% of hepatoblastomas were resectable, four at presentation, and a further six after chemotherapy. Tumour rupture was more common in patients with hepatoblastoma than in those with hepatocellular carcinoma (36% versus 9% of cases, respectively). Mortality rates were considerably higher among the hepatocellular carcinoma group than the hepatoblastoma group in this series.

CONCLUSION. Childhood hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma differ with respect to age and tumour stage at presentation, hepatatis B surface antigen status, tendency to rupture, chemosensitivity, and prognosis.

Hong Kong Med J 2002;8:13-7

Key words: Carcinoma, hepatocellular; Child; Hepatoblastoma; Infant; Liver neoplasms

 
 
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