• hepatoma;
  • cholangiocarcinoma;
  • cirrhotic;
  • noncirrhotic liver


The causes of death and patterns of metastasis of 43 patients with primary liver cancer were studied and discussed in comparison with reports in the literature. Data from 6 recent reports of 1,673 patients showed that the 3 leading causes of death from hepatoma were liver failure (34%), bleeding (30%), and advanced cancer (24%). Distribution of sites of metastasis in 1,497 patients with hepatoma from 7 reports showed that the 3 leading sites were: lung (median 44%), portal vein (35%), and portal lymph node(s) (27%). The pattern of metastasis of hepatoma arising from cirrhotic liver is somewhat different from that of the noncirrhotic liver; the former are more likely to involve the portal vein, whereas the latter involves more regional lymph node(s). Compared to hepatoma, cholangio-carcinoma is less likely to metastasize to the lung or portal vein, but more likely to involve lymph node(s), peritoneum, and bone and/or marrow.