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MINERVA GASTROENTEROLOGICA E DIETOLOGICA

A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics


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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2008 June;54(2):125-30

language: English

Endoscopic ultrasound and fine needle aspiration for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma

Jagannath S., Puri K., Kantsevoy S., Thuluvath P. J.

Department of Medicine The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, US


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Liver cancer is one of the most frequent solid cancers. The major risk factor associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B, hepatitis C virus or chronic alcohol consumption. The overall prognosis of patients with HCC is very poor and this is mainly due to the advanced stages of cancer at presentation and also because of underlying cirrhosis. When HCC is diagnosed at early stages, prognosis is better with five-year disease free survival of around 50% with resection, or local ablative treatments such as radio-frequency ablation or percutaneous ethanol injection, and 70-80% with liver transplantation. Therefore, systematic screening of all the high-risk patients is the key to an early diagnosis of small HCC and the use of an appropriate treatment modality. The currently available tools for the screening, surveillance and diagnosis of HCC in the presence of cirrhosis remain sub-optimal. The advancements made in the past 10 years, however, have made HCC a potentially curable disease in a highly selected group of patients. This review will briefly discuss the current guidelines for surveillance and diagnosis of HCC in high-risk subjects and then review the potential role of endoscopic ultrasound and fine needle aspiration for the diagnosis of small HCC.

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