Neonatal liver tumours

Semin Neonatol. 2003 Oct;8(5):403-10. doi: 10.1016/S1084-2756(03)00092-7.


Primary liver tumours are very rare during the neonatal period, but increasing numbers of them are now diagnosed prenatally by routine ultrasound scan. A precise diagnosis is sometimes problematic because of non-specific clinical symptoms, misleading imaging and difficulties with histological interpretation. Benign infantile haemangioendothelioma usually undergoes spontaneous regression, but may be life-threatening due to congestive heart failure and/or consumptive coagulopathy when treatment with resection, embolization or arterial ligation is necessary. Malignant hepatoblastoma may occur in the newborn, and often has to be treated with chemotherapy to achieve resectability. Symptoms are less specific and the prognosis is worse than in older children. Mesenchymal hamartoma is a benign cystic lesion that should be resected whenever possible. Rarely, germ cell tumours occur in the neonatal liver. Benign teratomas have to be resected, while malignant choriocarcinomas may respond to chemotherapy and can be cured in some cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Germinoma / diagnosis
  • Germinoma / etiology
  • Germinoma / pathology
  • Germinoma / therapy
  • Hamartoma / diagnosis
  • Hamartoma / etiology
  • Hamartoma / pathology
  • Hamartoma / therapy
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma / etiology
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Hemangioma / therapy
  • Hepatoblastoma / diagnosis
  • Hepatoblastoma / etiology
  • Hepatoblastoma / pathology
  • Hepatoblastoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*