Which clinical history findings are characteristic of hepatocellular adenoma (HCA)?

Updated: Feb 21, 2018
  • Author: Bradford A Whitmer, DO; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The clinical presentation varies widely. Salient features of the history and physical examination may include the following:

  • Pain in the right upper quadrant or epigastric region is common, occurring in 25-50% of patients with hepatocellular adenomas.

  • Lesions may be noticed by patients as a palpable mass. Lesions may also be discovered incidentally during an abdominal imaging study for an unrelated reason.

  • History of birth control or anabolic steroid use should be elicited in patients with suspected hepatocellular adenomas.

  • Patients may also present with severe, acute abdominal pain with bleeding into the abdomen, which results in signs of shock (eg, hypotension, tachycardia, diaphoresis).

  • Hemoperitoneum occurs more frequently if the patient is taking a high-dose OCP, is actively menstruating or pregnant, or is within 6 weeks postpartum. Location of the lesion also is important, with those near the surface of the liver more prone to causing hemoperitoneum.

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