Combined approach for spontaneous rupture of hepatocellular carcinoma

World J Hepatol. 2010 Jan 27;2(1):49-51. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v2.i1.49.


Ruptured hepatocellular carcinoma is a rare, emergency occurrence in western countries with high mortality risk. A number of hypotheses have been formulated in order to explain the precise mechanism that leads to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) rupture: sub-capsular location, dimensions, portal hypertension, tumour necrosis, local increase of venous pressure due to the outflow reduction caused by neoplastic invasion, and the presence of a previous vascular injury which might predispose to HCC rupture. There is still a debate in the literature concerning the best approach in cases of HCC rupture. Surgery is the first option for treatment of acute abdominal bleeding. However the advent of endovascular treatments widens the range of possible therapies for acute bleeding control and subsequent ablation purposes. We report a case of hemoperitoneum from spontaneous rupture of undiagnosed HCC, that was treated successfully by emergency surgical resection followed by transarterial chemo-embolization for local recurrence.

Keywords: Acute abdominal bleeding; Bleeding hepatocellular carcinoma; Hemoperitoneum.