Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma presenting as facial nerve palsy and facial pain

Departement of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
The Korean journal of hepatology 12/2011; 17(4):319-22. DOI: 10.3350/kjhep.2011.17.4.319
Source: PubMed


Facial nerve palsy due to temporal bone metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has rarely been reported. We experienced a rare case of temporal bone metastasis of HCC that initially presented as facial nerve palsy and was diagnosed by surgical biopsy. This patient also discovered for the first time that he had chronic hepatitis B and C infections due to this facial nerve palsy. Radiation therapy greatly relieved the facial pain and facial nerve palsy. This report suggests that hepatologists should consider metastatic HCC as a rare but possible cause of new-onset cranial neuropathy in patients with chronic viral hepatitis.

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Available from: Jeong-Hoon Lee, Feb 17, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common malignant cancer of the liver and the third ranking cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Following the diagnosis of HCC, intrahepatic and extrahepatic metastasis patients account for ~50-75% of all HCC cases, lung and regional lymph nodes metastasis are the most common; metastasis to bone, skin and adrenal glands are rare, orbit metastasis and intracranial invasion are extremely rare. The present study reports the rare case of a patient with HCC that metastasized to the head. The patient presented with retrobulbar and intracranial invasion, and sub-scalp extension. Based on imaging findings, the lesion was initially misdiagnosed as meningioma, however, postoperative pathological examinations resulted in a definitive diagnosis of HCC metastasis. Based on the present case and a review of the relevant literature published since 2009, the current study recommends that metastasis must be considered when diagnosing retrobulbar head lesions in patients with HCC, regardless of contradictory imaging findings and other clinical indicators, which may closely mimic the original head lesion.
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