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Solitary skull metastasis as the first symptom of hepatocellular carcinoma: case report and literature review

Authors Guo X, Yin J, Jiang Y

Received 22 November 2013

Accepted for publication 6 January 2014

Published 28 April 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 681—686

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S58059

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Xieli Guo,1,2 Jiangliu Yin,3 Yugang Jiang1

1Department of Neurosurgery, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China; 2Department of Neurosurgery, Jinjiang Hospital of Quanzhou Medical College, Jinjiang, Fujian, People's Republic of China; 3Department of Neurosurgery, Changsha Central Hospital, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Skull metastasis from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is reported rarely. In addition, solitary skull metastasis as the first symptom of HCC is reported even less. Here, we reported a case of solitary skull metastasis as the first symptom of HCC and reviewed the literature on skull metastasis. A 49-year-old male patient was admitted to Jinjiang Hospital of Quanzhou Medical College with a painless parietal-occipital scalp mass, and he denied any history of hepatic disease. A cranial computed tomography demonstrated a hypervascular enhancement with osteolytic change in the right parietal-occipital region, cranial magnetic resonance imaging indicated a highly enhanced and osteolytic skull tumor, and abdominal computed tomography showed a huge tumor in the liver. The other examinations showed no other metastases. Laboratory data showed no liver dysfunction while hepatitis B surface antigen was positive, and alpha fetal protein level was high. A craniectomy was performed and the mass was totally removed. The histological diagnosis was skull metastasis from HCC. The patient was subsequently treated by transcatheter arterial chemoembolization. In a review of published literature, the incidence of skull metastasis from HCC in the period between 1990 and 2011 has significantly increased. The misdiagnosis rate of skull metastases as the first symptom from HCC was high. Therefore, it is necessary to give each patient with a scalp mass that has invaded the skull a liver ultrasound or computed tomography scan. On the other hand, we found that metastases that occurred in the calvaria site were more frequent than those that occurred in the skull base and facial skeleton. This may be worthy of further investigation in the future.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, skull metastasis, bone metastasis, positron emission tomography

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