Subcutaneous seeding of small hepatocellular carcinoma after fine needle aspiration biopsy

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1993 Mar-Apr;8(2):195-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.1993.tb01513.x.


Ultrasonically guided fine needle (21 gauge) aspiration biopsy (FNAB) was performed on a patient with a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) measuring 1.5 x 1.5 cm in segment VI of the liver. The tumour was located just beneath the liver surface. Subsegmentectomy of segment VI was performed. Twelve months after the biopsy and 10 months after the operation, levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and protein induced by Vitamin K absence or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II) increased gradually without any evidence of recurrence of HCC in the liver. Thirteen months after the biopsy, the patient palpated a hard subcutaneous nodule 1.5 cm in diameter in the right lower anterior chest wall at the insertion site of the biopsy needle. A subcutaneous tumour was excised and histological examination revealed moderately differentiated HCC. The levels of AFP and PIVKA-II normalized thereafter. These tumour markers were therefore useful for diagnosing the subcutaneous nodule as a metastatic HCC. The patient is currently doing well without further recurrence of HCC or needle-tract seeding 23 months after subsegmentectomy and 11 months after excision of the subcutaneous tumour.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / secondary*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Seeding*
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / secondary*