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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 536029, 4 pages
Case Report

Damage Control Surgery for Hepatocellular Cancer Rupture in an Elderly Patient: Survival and Quality of Life

Surgical Department, University Hospital of Larissa, Mezurlo, 4110 Larissa, Greece

Received 18 July 2015; Accepted 21 September 2015

Academic Editor: Aristomenis K. Exadaktylos

Copyright © 2015 Konstantinos Bouliaris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spontaneous rupture of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a rare emergency condition with high mortality rate. Successful management depends on patients’ hemodynamic condition upon presentation and comorbidities, correct diagnosis, HCC status, liver function, and future liver remnant, as well as available sources. There is still a debate in the literature concerning the best approach in this devastating complication. Nevertheless, the primary goal should be a definitive bleeding arrest. In most cases, patients with spontaneous rupture of HCC present with hemodynamic instability, due to hemoperitoneum, necessitating an emergency treatment modality. In such cases, transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) should be the treatment of choice. Emergency liver resection is an option when TAE fails or in cases with preserved liver function and limited tumors. Otherwise, damage control strategies, as in liver trauma, are a reasonable alternative. We report a case of an elderly patient with hemoperitoneum and hypovolemic shock from spontaneous rupture of undiagnosed HCC, who was treated successfully by emergency surgery and damage control approach.