Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Liver: primary hepatic neoplasia

Contributor(s): William Brewer Jr, Gerry A Polton

Introduction

  • Primary hepatic neoplasia is rare (approximately 2% of all tumors).
  • Most common neoplasia of liver in cats is lymphoma Lymphoma.
  • Broadly speaking, there are four different morphologic types of primary liver cancer in cats:
    • Biliary adenoma/carcinoma (64%).
    • Hepatocellular adenoma/carcinoma (19%).
    • Mesenchymal (sarcoma) (13%), most frequently hemangiosarcoma (11%) Hemangiosarcoma.
    • Carcinoid (4%).
  • Signs: usually non-specific such as weight loss, anorexia and vomiting; rarely clinical signs of hepatic dysfunction including icterus; many cases are asymptomatic.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, ultrasonography, laboratory tests, cytopathology or histopathology. Clinical stage: CT/MRI, ultrasound, radiography.
  • Treatment: surgical resection for solitary masses. Multifocal masses are best managed by palliative care.
  • Prognosis: guarded unless tumor solitary and surgical resection possible.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • In humans, primary liver neoplasia is significantly associated with viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, toxin exposure or a combination of these.
  • In cats there is no data demonstrating an association with the above, however, the increased incidence of biliary tract tumors and histological reports of malignant progression seen within a single tumor specimen support the notion of a multifactorial carcinogenic process with an extrinsic toxic factor that promotes tumor development.
  • Tumors can be classified as one of three forms: massive, nodular, or diffuse.
  • In cats most liver tumors are classified as diffuse; massive forms can be resected.
  • Metastasis is common with feline bile duct carcinomas (67-80%).

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.
  • Wang K Y, Panciera D L, Al-Rukibat R K 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, Wright J C et al (2003) Evaluation of sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination: 269 cases (1999-2000). JAVMA 222 (7), 964-967 PubMed.
  • Lawrence H J, Erb H N & Harvey H J (1994) Nonlymphomatous hepatobiliary masses in cats - 41 cases (1972 to 1991). Vet Surg 23 (5), 365-368 PubMed.
  • Patnaik A K (1992) A morphologic and immunocytochemical study of hepatic neoplasms in cats. Vet Pathol 29 (5), 405-15 PubMed.
  • Post G & Patnaik A K (1992) Nonhematopoietic hepatic neoplasms in cats: 21 cases (1983-1988). JAVMA 201 (7), 1080-1082 PubMed.


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