Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
HPB Surgery
Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 291-297

Hepatic Dystychoma: A Five Year Experience

Department of Surgery, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia

Received 12 April 1991; Accepted 12 April 1991

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


In 5 years, 64 solid hepatic lesions have been referred for diagnosis and management which have been found unexpectedly on organ imaging in well patients. We have called this lesion a “dystychoma”.

Patients have undergone a two phase investigation programme which allows a diagnosis without admission to hospital in about 50% of cases. About three quarters of patients (47/64) have had nonneoplastic lesions, and about half (33/64) have had haemangiomas. About one patient in four (17/64) has had a neoplasm, and the neoplasm has been malignant in about one in six (11/64) of all patients.

We stress the need to pursue the diagnosis in these patients. There were no reliable clinical, biochemical or imaging characteristics which individually distinguished benign from malignant lesions. Age over 55 years, an enlarged liver or a palpable liver mass and a raised serum alkaline phosphatase were all significantly more frequent with malignant tumours. The risk of malignancy rose with the number of risk factors, and all patients with all three risk factors had malignant tumours.

Only 11 of the 64 patients were judged to have benefited by significant increase in quality or quantity of life as a result of what was frequently inappropriate organ imaging. There is no strong argument for replacing history taking and physical examination by CT scanning, ultrasound examination or other organ imaging.