Which findings on radiography are characteristic of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma?

Updated: Sep 05, 2019
  • Author: W Ross Stevens, MD; Chief Editor: John Karani, MBBS, FRCR  more...
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Plain radiographs of the abdomen may demonstrate nonspecific secondary findings related to hepatomegaly or to the abdominal mass in patients with fibrolamellar carcinoma. Findings may include an enlarged liver shadow and/or displacement of adjacent, gas-filled bowel loops. Calcifications in the tumor also may be visible on plain abdominal images.

Plain radiographic findings in patients with fibrolamellar carcinoma are nonsensitive and nonspecific. These findings are not helpful in the detection or characterization of the tumors.

Any cause of space-occupying abdominal masses or hepatomegaly can produce plain radiographic findings similar to those of fibrolamellar carcinoma, thereby causing a false-positive finding. Changes associated with fibrolamellar carcinoma may not produce any abnormality on plain radiographs, thereby causing a false-negative result.

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