Recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of switching bipolar radiofrequency ablation (bRFA) in treating liver cancer. Nevertheless, the clinical use of the treatment remains less common than conventional monopolar RFA - likely due to the lack of understanding of how the tissues respond thermally to the switching effect. The problem is exacerbated by the numerous possible switching combinations when bRFA is performed using bipolar needles, thus making theoretical deduction and experimental studies difficult. This article addresses this issue via computational modelling by examining if significant variation in the treatment outcome exists amongst six different electrode configurations defined by the X-, C-, U-, N-, Z- and O-models. Results indicated that the tissue thermal and thermal damage responses varied depending on the electrode configuration and the operating conditions (input voltage and ablation duration). For a spherical tumour, 30 mm in diameter, complete ablation could not be attained in all configurations with 70 V input voltage and 5 minutes ablation duration. Increasing the input voltage to 90 V enlarged the coagulation zone in the X-model only. With the other configurations, extending the ablation duration to 10 minutes was found to be the better at enlarging the coagulation zone.
The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Malaysia for the year 2001 was 2.8 per 100,000 people. The mortality rate is increasing. A retrospective cohort study measuring the survival of HCC patients who received treatment in Selayang Hospital was conducted from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2006. The main objectives of the study were to measure the survival of the patients and to understand the influencing factors, especially ethnicity. The subjects were newly diagnosed cases of HCC by CT scan and histopathological assessment who underwent futher investigations and treatments in Hospital Selayang (inception cohort). The survival time was measured from the date of diagnosis until the subjects died, or failed to follow-up at the end of the study period (31 December 2007). A total of 299 patients were selected with 95 patients dying, the majority among Chinese (39.1%). Subgroup analysis according to ethnicity proved significantly that Chinese patients who had smaller tumor, less number of nodules, low AFP level, Child Pugh Class A and received surgical treatment had a better median survival rate compared to other ethnic groups. Malay (cHR: 1.3, 95%CI; 0.89-1.85) and Indian (cHR: 1.3, 95%CI; 0.74-2.26) patients had a poor survival compared to Chinese patients, but not in the final model. Therefore ethnicity may play a role in survival of HCC patients, but not as a main hazard prognostic factor.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer having a strong relation with cirrhosis. Undoubtedly, cirrhosis may be caused by the virus infection of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HBC) or through alchoholism. However, even when cirrhosis has not been developed, patients with hepatitis viral infections are still at the risk of liver cancer. Apparently, among the numerous medical imaging techniques, Computed Tomography (CT) is the best in defining liver tumor borders. Unfortunately, these imaging techniques, including the CT procedures, usually rely on an appended application to reconstruct the generated 2-D slices to 3-D model. This may involve high performance computation, may be time-consuming or costly. Moreover, even with the outstanding performances of CT in defining the liver tumor boundaries, contrast between tumor tissues and the surrounding liver parenchyma is too low in CT slices. With such a close proxity in the tumor and the surrounding liver tissues, accurate characterization of liver tumor is a challenge. Previously, algorithms were developed to reveal abnormalities in brain's MRI datasets and CT abdominal pelvic, however, introducing a framework that could accurately characterize liver tumor and its surrounding tissues in CT datasets would go a long way in contributing to medical diagnosis and therapy planning of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. This paper proposes an Hepatocellular Carcinoma framework by extending the functionalities of SurLens Visualization System with an automatic liver tumor localization technique using Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA). The study was evaluated with liver CT datasets from the Imaging Science and Information Systems (ISIS) Center, the Georgetown University Medical Center. Significantly, visualization of liver CT datasets and the localization of the entangled tumor was achieved without prior datasets segmentation. Interestingly, the framework achieved remarkably good processing speed at a reasonably cheaper cost with an immediate reconstruction of the datasets and mapping of the tumor tissues within the surrounding liver parenchyma.
Recent reports have dispelled the previously held concept that head and neck cancer rarely metastases beyond the cervical lymph nodes. Nasopharyngeal cancer has been reported to have a higher incidence of distant metastases compared to other head and neck cancers, the common sites being bone, lung and liver. A case of nasopharyngeal carcinoma presenting as obstructive jaundice because of secondaries at the porta hepatis is presented here.
Hepatic angiosarcoma is a rare primary mesenchymal malignancy. Prognosis is poor and mortality occurs early. The diagnosis is challenging. Our case was an asymptomatic 70 year-old man referred, with incidental ultrasonography finding of multiple liver nodules. Diagnostic laparoscopic liver biopsy and the histopathological examination reported a haemangioma. Six months later, he became symptomatic and his health condition deteriorated rapidly.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the commonest cancers in Asian males. In Malaysia, it is one of the ten most common cancers amongst the male population. Most of our patients with HCC present to us rather late and almost all die within 4 months of diagnosis. HCC occurs more commonly in patients with cirrhosis associated with hepatitis B and C infections. Screening for HCC can lead to early detection of small tumours (< 5 cm) that are more amenable to surgical resection, resulting in improved survival rates. The average 5-year survival rate for those who have undergone surgical resection is 68% (range, 22-73%). Better results are obtained with the smaller tumours (< 2 cm in diameter). Patients with chronic hepatitis B and C infection especially those who are > 45 years of age, who have concomitant cirrhosis or have a family history of HCC should be examined every 3-6 months with periodic serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) measurements and abdominal ultrasound examinations. Abdominal ultrasound is useful in the detection of small tumours. While mass screening for HCC is not cost-effective in countries of low incidence of HCC, screening of high risk groups may be justified in countries with a high endemicity of HBV infection. Screening for HCC in Japan, Taiwan and China appears to yield better results than those in the West. Nonetheless, primary prevention with mass hepatitis B vaccination and blood donor screening for anti-HCV is expected to make a much greater impact in the control of HCC in the years to come.
Spontaneous rupture and hemorrhage is a devastating complication of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Results from current therapeutic modalities remain varied. Recent development of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the management of this condition has shown promise. We describe 2 cases of ruptured HCC in which nonoperative, percutaneous radio frequency ablation (RFA) was successful in achieving hemostasis. The advantageous of RFA over other interventional techniques in the management of ruptured HCC are discussed.
Although it is common to have extra-hepatic metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at the time of presentation, it is extremely rare to have extra-hepatic metastatic HCC without a detectable primary in the liver. We report a unique case in which a patient presented with bilateral large adrenal masses which were subsequently proven to be metastases from HCC. However, there was no tumour seen in the liver on imaging.
A 6-year-old Malay boy presented with fever and abdominal pain for 2 months. Computerised tomography showed a nodular mass in the left lobe of the liver. There was also portal vein thrombosis on the left side. Serum alpha-fetoprotein was not elevated and Hepatitis B antigen was negative. Biopsy of the liver mass led to a histological diagnosis of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. In view of extensive tumour involvement, he could not be operated on but was treated with chemotherapy. However, the tumour did not respond. While this is expected for fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, the possibility of the tumour having a component of ordinary hepatocellular carcinoma could not be excluded as the tumour was not resected. Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma is a rare histological subtype of hepatocellular carcinoma, associated with a better prognosis. It affects the younger age group and has no association with cirrhosis, hepatitis B virus infection or exposure to oral contraceptives, all of which are implicated in ordinary hepatocellular carcinoma. Serum alpha-fetoprotein level is usually within normal limits and other laboratory values are not contributory to the diagnosis. The diagnosis is usually suggested by radiographic studies viz. CT scan of the abdomen, which would show an irregular non-homogenous mass in the liver, and confirmed by histological examination. The most characteristic microscopical feature is fibrosis arranged in a lamellar fashion around polygonal and deeply eosinophilic neoplastic hepatocytes.
Serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels and its expression in liver tissue was studied in 50 cases of histologically confirmed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Serum AFP levels were elevated (greater than 20iu/ml) in 35/50 (70%) of the cases, 28 of whom had levels greater than 500 iu/ml, which is highly suggestive of HCC. These results indicate that serum AFP, by itself, is a relatively insensitive diagnostic test for HCC. Although elevated levels in high risk patients provide a specific clue, a negative result does not exclude the diagnosis of HCC. Expression of AFP by tumour cells paralleled that of serum in the majority of cases. However, tissue AFP was negative in 7 patients who had markedly elevated serum AFP. This observation may be a reflection of preferential excretion of the tumour antigen or differential expression of the antigen by the tumour cells. None of the patients with normal serum AFP demonstrated a reaction for tissue AFP. There was no correlation between AFP production and tumour differentiation.