Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Liver: hepatocellular carcinoma

Contributor(s): Laura Garrett, Alasdair Hotston Moore, Phil Nicholls, Gerry Polton

Introduction

  • Primary hepatic neoplasia is rare (approx 1.2% of all tumors).
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for approximately half of all primary liver tumors in dogs.
  • Signs: non-specific such as weight loss, anorexia, vomiting; may be associated with mass or liver dysfunction, may be asymptomatic.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, ultrasonography, laboratory tests, cytology or histopathology.
  • Treatment:surgical resection for solitary masses has the best response; chemotherapy generally not very successful.
  • Prognosis: guarded unless surgical resection possible.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • In people most cases are associated with cirrhosis or viral infection, eg hepatitis B or C there is no known similar association in dogs.
  • Experimental exposure to several specific carcinogens has resulted in the formation of these tumors.
  • Most canine hepatocellular carcinomas arise from the left side of the liver, particularly the left lateral lobe.
  • Classified as one of three forms: massive, nodular, or diffuse:
    • More than 50% are massive, usually presenting as a solitary mass involving one liver lobe.
    • Nodular form (30%) nodules in multiple liver lobes
    • Diffuse form (10%).
  • High metastatic rate (90-100 %) for diffuse and nodular forms. Massive hepatocellular carcinoma has reported metastasis rates of 0-37%.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lodi M, Chinosi S, Faverzani, S & Ferro E (2007) Clinical and ultrasonographic features of the Canine Hepatocellular Carcinoma (CHC). Veterinary Research Communications 31 (Suppl.1), 293-295 PubMed.
  • Liptak J M, Dernell W S et al (2004) Massive hepatocellular carcinoma in dogs: 48 cases (1992-2002). JAVMA 225 (8), 1225-1230 PubMed.
  • O'Brien R T, Iani M et al (2004) Contrast harmonic ultrasound of spontaneous liver nodules in 32 dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 45 (6), 547-553 PubMed.
  • Wang K Y, Panciera D L et al (2004) Accuracy of ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of the liver and cytologic findings in dogs and cats: 97 cases (1990-2000). JAVMA 224 (1), 75-78 PubMed.
  • Cohen M, Bohling M W et al (2003) Evaluation of sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination: 269 cases (1999-2000). JAVMA 222 (7), 964-967 PubMed.
  • Cuccovillo A, Lamb C R (2002) Cellular features of sonographic target lesions of the liver and spleen in 21 dogs and a cat. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 43 (3), 275-278 PubMed.
  • Vörös K, Vrabély T, Papp L et al (1991) Correlation of ultrasonographic and pathomorphological findings in canine hepatic diseases. J Small Anim Pract 32 (12), 627-634 VetMedResource.


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