Evidence of good prognosis of hepatocellular adenoma in post-menopausal women

J Hepatol. 2016 Dec;65(6):1163-1170. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.07.047. Epub 2016 Aug 12.


Background & aims: Hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) is a rare benign liver tumor, which typically develops in women in their reproductive phase and is associated with the use of oral contraceptives. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether follow-up of HCA can be safely terminated after the occurrence of menopause. Secondary, we studied the impact of the diagnosis HCA on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Methods: This was a cross-sectional cohort study, including 48 post-menopausal women with HCA. Patients underwent ultrasound examination and the size of HCA was compared to size at the last follow-up imaging (CT, MRI or ultrasound). HRQoL was evaluated by the Liver Disease Symptom Index 2.0 and Short Form 12.

Results: Median time since last follow-up was 60.5months. In 44 patients 43.5% of the lesions were undetectable, 32.6% were stable in size and 19.6% became smaller. Mean diameter of HCA was 17.2mm compared to 35.9mm at last follow-up (p<0.001). There was a positive correlation between difference in size and time since last follow-up (p<0.001). No significant effect of HCA subtype on difference in size was found. Regarding HRQoL, study patients scored significantly lower on the mental component summary score compared to the general female Dutch population.

Conclusions: HCA diameter became significantly smaller after the occurrence of menopause and as time progresses, this regression increased. This suggests that routine follow-up of HCA <5cm in post-menopausal women after subsequent follow-up is not required. Notably we found that patient's mental HRQoL was inferior to that of the general population.

Lay summary: In this study we investigated if hepatocellular adenoma, a benign tumor of the liver that is found mostly in women and is associated with female hormones, regresses in size after the occurrence of menopause in female patients over 50years of age. We made an ultrasound of the liver lesion and found that the average size of the adenomas becomes significantly smaller. This could mean that female patients with a small (<5cm) hepatocellular adenoma who are post-menopausal do not have to remain in follow-up.

Clinical trial number: MEC-2015-385.

Keywords: Follow-up; Health-related quality of life; Hepatocellular adenoma; Post-menopausal.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Liver Cell*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms*
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life