Background. The clinicopathologic features of cystic neoplasms of the liver, such as cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma, are poorly defined because these lesions are extremely rare. Methods. Clinicopathologic findings in six patients who underwent surgery for a cystic hepatic neoplasm were reviewed retrospectively to determine the best surgical strategy to treat this condition. Results. Five patients had a multilocular cyst or elevated lesions detected on preoperative imaging studies. The remaining patient had elevated serum concentrations of carcinoembryonic antigen and carbohydrate antigen 19-9, even though preoperative imaging studies of the hepatic cystic lesion revealed no imaging features of cystadenocarcinoma. Cytology failed to detect malignant cells in the cyst contents of any patient. One patient underwent palliative resection because pleural dissemination was present, and five patients underwent curative resection. Three patients had cystadenoma diagnosed in the surgical specimen. One patient with cystadenocarcinoma has survived for more than 8 years after a curative resection that was limited to the cyst wall, and another patient died of recurrence 13 months after surgery. Conclusions. When a cystic neoplasm is suspected of being cystadenocarcinoma, hepatic resection should be considered, because reliable criteria for distinguishing cystadenoma from cystadenocarcinoma clinically do not exist.
Key wordscystadenocarcinoma cystadenoma liver surgery prognosis
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