Benign and Malignant Lesions of the Liver

  • Francesca Romana Ponziani
  • Giulia Gibiino
  • Antonio Gasbarrini


Primary liver cancer includes tumors derived from hepatocytes, bile duct epithelium, or mesenchymal tissue. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) onset is age dependent and is currently observed in elderly cirrhotic patients. Liver cirrhosis leads to destruction and consequent regeneration of the hepatic tissue, favoring the development of dysplastic nodules and ultimately HCC; therefore, cirrhosis is accounted as the most main risk factor for HCC, followed by hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Nowadays surveillance programs adopted by the Western countries have allowed to obtain early HCC diagnosis. The Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system is the most widely used algorithm for specific treatment allocation and prognostic prediction in patients with liver cirrhosis and HCC.

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is responsible for 10–20% of primary liver cancers worldwide and has showed an increasing incidence over the last few decades. It still represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Surgery is the only potential curative treatment for the few patients presenting with a resectable tumor, although, unfortunately, survival rates after liver resection are dismal. Many studies for determining targeted therapies to specific gene mutations in carcinogenetic molecular pathways are currently ongoing.

Finally, benign tumors as focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), hepatocellular adenoma (HCA), and hemangiomas may also have been incidentally detected. The correct diagnosis of these focal lesions is crucial to define cases deserving a surgical approach.


Hepatocellular carcinoma Liver cirrhosis Locoregional treatment Cholangiocarcinoma Benign tumors Liver hemangioma 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Romana Ponziani
    • 1
  • Giulia Gibiino
    • 1
  • Antonio Gasbarrini
    • 1
  1. 1.Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and HepatologyAgostino Gemelli HospitalRomeItaly

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