Incidence and etiology of new liver lesions in pediatric patients previously treated for malignancy.

Research paper by Ethan A EA Smith, Shelia S Salisbury, Rose R Martin, Alexander J AJ Towbin

Indexed on: 27 Jun '12Published on: 27 Jun '12Published in: AJR. American journal of roentgenology


The purpose of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the time course, cause, and imaging characteristics of all new liver lesions in pediatric patients with a previously treated malignancy.Our hospital cancer registry was used to identify patients between 1980 and 2005 who met the following criteria: solid tumor, survival > 2 years after diagnosis, no liver lesions at a posttreatment baseline, and cross-sectional imaging follow-up of > 2 years. Final dictated reports of all cross-sectional imaging examinations including the abdomen were reviewed for any mention of new liver lesions. Positive reports were followed by consensus review of the images and clinical data. Patients were divided into three groups: those with suspected or proven focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), those with suspected or proven metastases, and those with other lesions. An exact Wilcoxon test was used to evaluate the differences between the groups.Of 967 patients who met the initial inclusion criteria, 273 had adequate follow-up to be included in the study. Forty-six patients (16.8%) developed new liver lesions during the study period, and 14 of those 46 were classified into the FNH group (30.4%) and seven were classified into the metastasis group (15.2%). A significant difference was found in the median time to the development of FNH versus metastasis and other lesions (FNH, 92.9 months; metastasis, 43.2 months; other lesions, 18.5 months; p < 0.0001). A significant difference was also seen in the median length of follow-up between the groups (FNH, 115.6 months; metastasis, 57 months; other lesions, 50.8 months; p = 0.002). The imaging features of the groups also differed.The most common liver lesion encountered in pediatric patients previously treated for malignancy was FNH, which occurred farther from the time of diagnosis and had different imaging characteristics from both metastases and other liver lesions.