Hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma: Resection or transplantation, which and when?

Authors

  • Menahem Ben-Haim,

    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Sasan Roayaie,

    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Ming Q. Ye,

    1. Department of Pathology, The Mount Sinai Hospital of Mount Sinai–New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Swan N. Thung,

    1. Department of Pathology, The Mount Sinai Hospital of Mount Sinai–New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Sukru Emre,

    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Thomas A. Fishbein,

    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Patricia M. Sheiner,

    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Charles M. Miller,

    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
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  • Myron E. Schwartz MD

    Corresponding author
    1. The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute;New York University Medical Center and Health System, New York, NY
    • The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Box 1104, One Gustave L. Levy Pl, New York, NY 10029-6574
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Abstract

Hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (HEHE) is a rare tumor with an unpredictable course and prognosis. The aim of this study is to describe our experience with liver resection, as well as transplantation, in the treatment of this tumor. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features, pathological findings, and postoperative results in a series of 11 patients presenting between 1990 and 1998. Five patients (45%) presented with abdominal pain, 3 patients (27%) with jaundice and ascites, and the rest were asymptomatic. Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging showed localized lesions in 2 patients (18%) and multifocal disease in the others. Seven patients (64%) had extrahepatic lesions, detected either by preoperative imaging or discovered at exploration. Two resections of apparently localized lesions were followed by rapid and aggressive recurrence. Five patients were treated with transplantation, including 1 patient who had previously undergone resection. Of these 5 patients, 2 patients are currently free of detectable disease, 1 patient who had severe ascites and jaundice is now asymptomatic with stable extrahepatic lesions, and 2 patients (including 1 who had previously undergone a resection) died of tumor recurrence. One patient with advanced tumor died while waiting for transplantation. The remaining 4 patients are free of symptoms and have stable hepatic and extrahepatic disease. HEHE is nearly always multifocal, and our results with resection were dismal. Because of the unpredictable nature of the tumor, the indications for transplantation in patients without liver-related symptoms should be carefully evaluated. Nevertheless, extrahepatic disease should not be an absolute contraindication for liver transplantation in patients with severe liver dysfunction.

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