Hepatocellular carcinoma presenting with pyrexia and leukocytosis: Report of five cases



In the past 26 years we have encountered five patients with primary liver malignancy clinically characterized by high remittent fever and leukocytosis mimicking liver abscess. Two patients underwent exploratory laparotomy, and drainage was carried out in another. The clinical courses went rapidly downhill. The liver was cirrhotic in two patients. The interior of the main mass was almost totally necrotic in four cases. Histologically, the malignant cells in the main portion resembled sarcoma, but in some areas cells appeared epithelial with eosinophilic cytoplasm and were in a trabecular arrangement, except for one case not subjected to autopsy in which histological study was inadequate because of extensive necrosis. It seems that these neoplasms were very poorly differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas rather than combinations of sarcoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. These patients, therefore, may represent a distinct clinicopathological type of hepatocellular carcinoma that is very rare in Japan but perhaps more common in South Africa, where similar cases have been clinically described in larger numbers. (HEPATOLOGY 1991;13:695–700.)