oa South African Medical Journal - Delayed presentation and diagnosis ofmetastatic hepatocellular carcinoma in pregnancy - : case report

Volume 105, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is rare in women of reproductive age. If diagnosed, the underlying cirrhosis is associated with infertility in the majority of cases. There is limited literature on HCC in pregnancy, even more so for cases of metastatic disease. We present a case of delayed presentation and diagnosis of metastatic HCC in pregnancy.

A 30-year-old pregnant woman presented at 23 weeks' gestation and was diagnosed as HIV-infected, with anaemia. She was initiated on an efavirenz-based fixed-dose combination and oral haematinics. She subsequently presented at 32 weeks' gestation with dyspnoea, and was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. She was also found to have hepatosplenomegaly and ascites. She went into spontaneous preterm labour at 32weeks and 4 days. A diagnosis of metastatic HCC was made postpartum, based on the radiological findings and biochemistry. We discuss the challenges of diagnosing metastatic HCC in pregnancy.

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