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Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 939136, 4 pages
Case Report

Recurrent Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patient with Crohn’s Disease: Incidental or Expected Outcome of Azathioprine?

1Department of Internal Medicine, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, New York Medical College, Paterson, NJ 07503, USA
2Department of Gastroenterology, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, New York Medical College, Paterson, NJ 07503, USA
3Department of Gastroenterology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University, Huntington, WV 25755, USA
4Department of General and Hepatobiliary Surgery, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, NJ 07503, USA

Received 27 September 2015; Revised 20 November 2015; Accepted 25 November 2015

Academic Editor: Hideto Kawaratani

Copyright © 2015 Youssef Botros 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.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) usually occurs in patients with underlying risk factors such as liver cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis B. Although patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) are at an increased risk to develop malignancies such as colon cancer, the incidence of HCC in this population is extremely rare. We report a case of 62-year-old male with long history of CD treated with azathioprine (AZA) and aminosalicylic acid (ASA) who was incidentally diagnosed with HCC, for which left hepatectomy was done. Four years later during routine follow-up, patient had another hepatic lesion and underwent resection of the mass. The mechanism of occurrence of HCC in patient with CD is still controversial and may include immune mediated changes and medication related complications. AZA was reported in all case reports of CD that developed HCC. Through this report we hope to explore the complex pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to the development of HCC in the Crohn’s disease patient population.