Focal hepatic lesions in Egyptian infants and children: the pediatric hepatologist perspective.

El-karaksy, H. M., E. Mogahed, R. El-Sayed, M. El-Raziky, M. Sheba, M. Besheer, H. Elkiki, and H. Ghita, "Focal hepatic lesions in Egyptian infants and children: the pediatric hepatologist perspective.", Minerva pediatrica, vol. 70, issue 1, pp. 35-45, 2018.


BACKGROUND: Hepatic focal lesions in the pediatric age group are diverse and can be broadly classified into congenital, neoplastic and infective. The aim of this paper was to describe the frequency, nature and clinical presentation of focal hepatic lesions from a pediatric hepatologist perspective.

METHODS: Data were retrieved from files of all cases with focal hepatic lesions presenting to the Pediatric Hepatology Unit, Cairo University Pediatric Hospital, from January 2006 to December 2013, after the study protocol was approved by the department research committee and the institution ethical committee.

RESULTS: Over an 8-year period, 38 cases had focal hepatic lesions. They constituted less than 1% of the 4475 new cases presenting to the unit over this period. The commonest lesion was hepatic hemangioma(s) (34%). Two-thirds were neoplastic lesions whether benign or malignant. Eighty percent were benign focal lesions. Infectious causes (fascioliasis and pyogenic liver abscess) accounted for 29% of cases. Hepatocellular carcinoma was the commonest malignant neoplasm; it occurred in 5 cases (13.2%) on top of a chronic liver disease. Hepatoblastoma was less common.

CONCLUSIONS: From the hepatologist perspective, pediatric focal hepatic lesions are more likely to be benign. Hepatic hemangiomas are the commonest. Infectious causes are common in a developing country like Egypt. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the commoner malignant neoplasm and usually develops on a diseased liver. Screening infants and children with chronic liver disease for development of hepatocellular carcinoma is mandatory. Hepatoblastoma is less likely to present to the pediatric hepatologist as it is referred immediately to the oncologist or onco-surgeon.