Percutaneous fine-needle aspiration of portal vein thrombi as a staging technique for hepatocellular carcinoma: Cytologic findings of 46 patients

D. Dusenbery, G. D. Dodd, B. I. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Detection of portal vein tumor invasion in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is important in determining therapy and prognosis. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of a portal vein thrombus under ultrasound guidance facilitates the distinction of malignant from benign thrombus without resorting to laparotomy. In this study, the FNA findings of 46 patients who underwent this procedure are described. Methods. Cytologic findings of 48 aspirations from 46 patients who underwent percutaneous ultrasound-guided portal vein FNA were reviewed. Results. Twenty-nine of the 46 patients had a prior or concurrent biopsy-confirmed diagnosis of HCC at the time of portal vein FNA. On cytologic review, 39 of the aspirates were positive for malignancy, 6 were negative, and 3 were suspicious. Histologic follow-up of three of the six patients with negative aspirates confirmed bland thrombi in their portal veins. No complications resulted from the FNA procedure. Of the 39 aspirates positive for HCC, 22 were well differentiated, 5 were well to moderately differentiated, 9 were moderately differentiated, and 3 were poorly differentiated. In all except the poorly differentiated tumors, a trabecular cellular arrangement was detected in either smears or cell blocks. The cytologic findings in these aspirates, in general, mirror those found in aspirates of HCC in the liver proper. Conclusions. Portal vein FNA is an effective, well tolerated method for disease staging of patients with HCC. When used as the initial diagnostic procedure, in selected patients, it can provide the diagnosis and staging information simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2062
Number of pages6
JournalCancer
Volume75
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Keywords

  • cytodiagnosis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • needle biopsy
  • portal vein
  • tumor staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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