Focal nodular hyperplasia of the liver: direct evidence of circulatory disturbances

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2000 Nov;15(11):1344-7.


Focal nodular hyperplasia of the liver is a lesion characterized by a well-circumscribed region of hyperplastic liver parenchyma and contains a stellate fibrous scar. The lesion is thought to be because of liver-cell hyperplasia that is caused by focal circulatory disturbances. We describe here a pediatric case of this lesion that provided direct histopathologic evidence of circulatory disturbances. We identified arterial and portal thrombi, as well as recanalization of arteries in the nodule. Hepatic necrosis was also seen in the lesion. We speculate that thrombosis of the hepatic artery and/or portal vein was the cause of hepatic necrosis and that reperfusion following hepatic arterial recanalization resulted in nodule formation. Although there was no stellate scar present in our case, the presence of bile ductular proliferation at the periphery of the nodule was helpful in distinguishing this lesion from adenoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. The early stage of nodular formation may explain the lack of a stellate scar in our case. The patient was treated earlier with actinomycin D and vincristine following surgical excision of Wilms' tumor. It is possible that such chemotherapy contributed to thrombosis in our case.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia / diagnosis
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia / etiology*
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia / pathology*
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Necrosis
  • Portal Vein
  • Thrombosis / complications
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Wilms Tumor / complications
  • Wilms Tumor / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents