Liver tumors: pediatric population

Liver Transpl. 2008 Nov;14(11):1545-56. doi: 10.1002/lt.21654.


Liver tumors in childhood are rare and are typically not detected clinically until they reach a large size and often spread within the organ or metastasize. This can make surgical resection problematic, and almost all of them require extirpation for cure. With very effective chemotherapy for hepatoblastoma and to some extent for sarcomas, many cancers can be shrunk to permit partial hepatectomy, but for most hepatocarcinomas, some of the other malignancies, and even some benign proliferations, their location at the hilum and multiplicity of masses in multiple lobes make transplantation the treatment of choice. Major advances in diagnostic imaging, especially enhanced computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, permit a preoperative choice of resection versus transplantation to be achieved in almost all instances, and for the remainder, intraoperative ultrasonography can further help to determine the most desirable approach. The outcome is very much better in the case of hepatoblastoma when transplantation is a primary modality rather than following unsuccessful attempts at resection. In this review, transplantation for liver tumors in children is considered from all aspects, including the importance of screening for tumors whenever possible to avoid the need for transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents