Results: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with 91% hepatitis B virus-related, constituted 23 of 33 primary malignant liver tumors and had the poorest survival rate. Initially, 70% of patients with primary malignant liver tumors were at disseminated stages. All of HCC and 88% of hepatoblastoma had elevated serum levels of alpha fetoprotein. However, abnormal liver function tests as alanine aminotransferase , total bilirubin , albumin and alkaline phosphatase were uncommon in patients with pediatric liver tumors. Metastatic liver tumors compared with primary malignant liver tumors showed hypo-echogenicity in abdominal ultrasound (US) exam and a lesser presence of vessel invasion and contrast enhancement in computed tomography studies (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: It is important to diagnose primary malignant liver tumors before their clinical symptoms and signs develop. Children with chronic hepatitis B virus infection must be followed every 6 months by serum alpha-fetoprotein and abdominal US even when their liver function tests are normal. Image studies with abdominal US and computed tomography scan can differentiate between primary and metastatic liver tumors . Background and Methodology in their abstract by: JIAAN-DER WANG, TE-KAU CHANG, HOU-CHUAN CHEN, SHENG-LING JAN, FANG-LIANG HUANG, CHING-SHIANG CHI, CHIEH-CHUNG LIN (2007) Pediatric liver tumors: Departments of Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital and Institute of Clinical Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University , Taichung, Taiwan