Table of Contents
Journal of Cancer Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 492782, 4 pages
Research Article

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Is the Most Frequent Final Diagnosis of Focal Liver Lesions Identified in a Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Patients with Chronic Liver Disease in Saudi Arabia

1Department of Medicine, Armed Forces Hospital Southern Region, Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Medicine, Jersey General Hospital, The Parade, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Isles JE1 3QS, UK
3Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino-IST, University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy
4Department of Radiology, King Fahad Hospital, Armed Forces Hospital Southern Region, Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia

Received 17 September 2014; Accepted 16 December 2014

Academic Editor: Daizo Yoshida

Copyright © 2015 Adnan Agha 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.


Background. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a frequent diagnosis in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) and a newly identified liver lesion, although benign diseases may also be responsible for this finding. Objective. To evaluate the characteristics of focal liver lesions in a population of patients with CLD not under surveillance for HCC in the Middle East. Methods. We performed a cross-sectional study evaluating 77 patients with CLD and a focal liver lesion identified during ultrasonography. Patients’ characteristics were analyzed on the basis of the final diagnosis (HCC versus benign lesions). Results. The most frequent diagnosis was HCC (64.9%). These patients were older (median age 64 versus 55 years, ) and cirrhotics (80.0% versus 51.9%, ), with multinodular lesions (58.0% versus 29.6%, ) and portal vein thrombosis (24.0% versus 0%, ) compared to patients with benign lesions. Prevalence of elevated alpha-fetoprotein (>10 ng/mL) was similar in both groups (80.0% versus 88.9%, ). Cirrhosis (odds ratio: 3.283) and multinodularity (odds ratio: 2.898) were independently associated with HCC. Conclusions. HCC is the most common diagnosis in Middle-Eastern patients with CLD and a liver lesion identified outside HCC surveillance programs, especially in cirrhotic patients. In these patients, elevated alpha-fetoprotein does not differentiate HCC from benign lesions.