Main Article Content

Spontaneous rupture of hepatocellular carcinoma in children

A Nejmeddine
A Bassem
B Salah
BM Issam


Spontaneous rupture of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with intraperitoneal haemorrhage is a lifethreatening complication with a high mortality rate. The mechanism of spontaneous rupture of HCC is unknown.
It may be related to venous congestion, haemorrhage, central necrosis, or trauma. Patients with ruptured tumours confirmed on computerised tomography (CT) scan underwent immediate cardiovascular resuscitation.
Depending on the stage of the tumour as seen on the CT scan and the condition of the patient, stoppage of bleeding was accomplished by transcutaneous hepatic artery embolisation, selective hepatic artery ligation, or hepatic resection. Only clinically stable, small tumours
were resected as an emergency procedure. We report the case of a 12-year-old child admitted with acute right upper quadrant abdominal pain and signs of hypovolaemia. Ultrasonography revealed free peritoneal
fluid and left liver haematoma was suspected. CT scan showed a tumour on the left side of the liver and free peritoneal fluid. Emergency laparotomy revealed haemoperitoneum and a 5-cm diameter left liver tumour which was ulcerated and haemorrhagic. The tumour was completely resected. Histopathological examination confirmed a diagnosis of rupture of differentiated HCC.